J.D. Struxness – Appleton, Minn. ($76,442)
2-time WNFR qualifier
1-time RNCFR qualifier
Last year, J.D. Struxness won the steer wrestling at the College National Finals Rodeo and then qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Wyoming was very good to him. It is home for the college championships and Cheyenne Frontier Days, which J.D. also won and added over $15,000 to his checking account. He entered the NFR in fourth place, won $128,673 in Las Vegas and finished the season in fourth.
He had hoped to use that momentum to get off to a fast start in 2017, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. He continued to persevere and by the middle of April, he had inched his way into the top 15.
He only won one rodeo all season, the Garden City, Kansas, Beef Empire Days where he collected $2,205. That saw him move into 11th place. While first place checks are nice, the others add up. J.D. found that out this year earning $76,442 and qualifying for his second NFR in 13th place.
J.D.’s perseverance and mental toughness come from other sports as well as competing at rodeos since he was a child. He played football and wrestled qualifying for state championships three years.
He credits a lot of his success in the arena to his rodeo coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State, Stockton Graves who was his traveling partner his rookie year. That was 2015 when J.D. finished 19th in the world standings. He made the trip to Las Vegas that year to accept his rookie buckle and awards as the best first-year steer wrestler in the PRCA.
While rodeo is his current career choice, he is also planning for his future outside of the arena. He’s investing money and plans to buy a place where he can have cattle and do some farming close to his family in Minnesota.