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Jarrett Starts Cowboy Christmas Right in Ponoka

PONOKA, Alberta – Ryan Jarrett watched Matt Shiozawa post a 7.7-second run, and the Comanche, Okla., cowboy knew he had to be lightning-quick to win the Ponoka Stampede title.

The 31-year-old Jarrett was just that, edging Shiozawa by .1 seconds to capture his first championship at Ponoka.

“I wanted to get against the barrier and be as fast as I could,” Jarrett said of his 7.6-second run in the showdown round Wednesday night. “I had a good calf, and everything went well.”

Ponoka’s unique format includes two rounds, a final round, an average and then the top four competitors in each event clash for a big-time payday.

After a bad first-round time of 10.8 seconds, Jarrett showed the form which has made him a 7-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in tie-down roping (he’s also the 2005 all-around world champion and went to the WNFR in steer wrestling that same year).

Jarrett was fourth in the second round, third in the finals and placed second in the three-head average with a time of 26.4 seconds. He earned $7,500 for the showdown round win, bringing his event total to $13,384.

“I had never even made the short round in calf roping here before, and I had more success in steer wrestling here in the past,” he said. “Ponoka is a rodeo everyone has on their bucket list and wants to win. They give you a real nice buckle and a great leather jacket for winning.”

Jarrett can wear the buckle and jacket and travel in style the next four days – four of the busiest days of the year. The Cowboy Christmas run is now in full affect, and Jarrett couldn’t be off to a better start – or more excited.

“It’s always great to get a win like this, especially heading into the Fourth of July run,” he said. “I look forward to Cowboy Christmas, and I love it. You get to as many rodeos as you can, whether it takes planes, trains or automobiles.”

Shortly after his win, Jarrett boarded a chartered plane, which took him to Cody, Wyo. He’ll then head to Livingston, Mont., and many more destinations.

Jarrett was 45th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings entering the week. The large haul from Ponoka should move him into the top 20 of the world, with plenty more cash up for grabs in the following days.

He finished 18th in the world standings last year, and wants to start a new streak of WNFR runs after seeing his five-year run end last season.

“I’d really like to be at the NFR this year, and a win like this will boost your confidence and boost you up in the standings,” he said.

Other winners at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds were bareback rider Matt Lait (83.5 points on Vold Rodeo’s True Grit), steer wrestler Coleman Kohorst (4.4 seconds), team ropers Kolton Schmidt and Dustin Searcy (6.0 seconds), saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss (88.25 points on Outlawbuckers Rodeo’s Lunatic Party), barrel racer Taylor Jacob (17.379 seconds) and bull rider Dakota Buttar (88.25 points on Outlawbuckers Rodeo’s Uptight).

DeMoss, the world standings leader, was the biggest money winner in Ponoka, earning a total of $17,720 after winning the final round, the average and the showdown round.

Courtesy of PRCA