by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 13, 2016
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Inter-State Rodeo committee
COFFEYVILLE, Kan. – A Coffeyville cowboy thrilled his hometown rodeo crowd.
Team roper Jake Long and his header Luke Brown turned in a time of 5.1 seconds to take the lead at the Inter-State Rodeo in Coffeyville Aug. 12.
Long, who grew up in Coffeyville and whose parents still live there, has competed in the Coffeyville arena since he was a kid. As one of the leaders in the standings of a youth rodeo association, he competed in the breakaway roping during the pro rodeo, and he’s competed there as a professional as well.
The 32-year-old cowboy heels for Luke Brown, of Stephenville, Texas. Long moved to Morgan Mill, Texas four years ago, and is about eight miles away from Brown. He hated to leave Kansas.
“It’s hard,” not being in Coffeyville, he said. “I love Coffeyville, and this will always be my home. But if you’re going to rodeo for a living, you have to live in Texas amongst everybody else.”
Roping in front of his hometown friends and family was nerve wracking for him and Brown, who have competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo five and eight times, respectively.
“Luke said it was like running the first (steer) at the Finals,” Long said. “He wanted to do a good job for me, with it being my hometown and all my family here. He knew it would be a good build-up. I think he felt more nerves than anybody because he’s got to start the run. If he does a bad job, then I don’t even get to throw (a rope).”
But he did fine. “Our steer was good,” Long said. “He ran straight down the middle. Luke did a great job, spun him good, and I just came around and cleaned him up, and it worked out.”
Long is ranked third in the WEATHER GUARD PRCA World Standings, the highest he’s ever been at this time of year. “It’s a neat experience,” he said. “It’s neat to be in the position we’re in, and hopefully we can keep roping good.”
Long’s mount for the rodeo was a 12-year-old sorrel named Colonel, who was originally a show horse. Colonel was one of the first show horses owned by Dixon Flowers Rope Horses. In 2010, when Colonel was six years old, he was towards the end of his show career, and Dixon Flowers wanted to see if he could be a rodeo horse.
“We visited,” Long said, “and I agreed to take him for a while, and it’s been the biggest blessing of my life, as far as horses. He never makes a mistake, he’s super calm, he’s a big stout horse, he’s durable. And they’re turning out a lot more quality horses like that.”
Long rode Colonel at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo the last three years he qualified (2012, 2014-2015).
Long’s parents, Pam and Randy Weatherby and Cricket and Lynette Long were in attendance to watch their son rope. Long’s wife Tasha and his daughters Haven (8) and Haizlee (4) were also there.
Fast times and high scores in the other events on Friday night included bareback rider Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas (81 points), steer wrestler Chancey Larson, Manhattan, Kan. (3.6 seconds), tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla. (7.6 seconds), saddle bronc rider Doug Aldridge, Carthage, Mo. (80 points), steer roper Brodie Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla. (13.6 seconds) and barrel racer Sally Young, Micanopy, Fla. 17.56 seconds). In the bull riding, no cowboy a made qualified ride.
The final night of rodeo takes place August 13 at 7:30 p.m., along with the last day of the fair. The junior market livestock sale begins at 4 p.m., with the carnival starting at 6 p.m. Tickets for the rodeo range from $15-$30 and are available online at FairandRodeo.com or by calling 1.800.952.FAIR.
Courtesy of PRCA