By Jolee Jordan
Clovis, Calif. — More than most sports, rodeo is loaded with unknown factors for competitors. From various arenas, to traveling snafus, to working with livestock, absolutely nothing is given.
So rodeo competitors take comfort when surprises can be minimized.
Jordan Spears had to feel good as he traveled south to compete at the 105th annual Clovis Rodeo, a stop on the ProRodeo Tour.
For one, as a native Californian born and raised in Northern California, Spears, a past champion at Clovis, knows well the Clovis arena and famously large and rowdy crowds.
But even better, Spears knew he was facing a familiar foe in the bull riding. Corey & Lange Rodeo’s bull Scared Famous has twice before been drawn next to Spears’ name at ProRodeos.
Both times had proven fruitful. Trip No. 3 was even better.
“I got on him at Puyallup (Wash.) a couple of years ago when he was a calf in his first year,” Spears said. “He was really good, and ever since, he has been the one to draw.”
Spears split a round at the 2017 Washington State Fair on the young bull and drew him again in Hermiston, Ore., at the Farm City Pro Rodeo in 2018. His scores of 86 points and 83.5, respectively, both earned checks.
“He has always been one of my favorites of Corey’s,” Spears said.
Competing during the second performance on Saturday afternoon in Clovis, Spears and Scared Famous danced once again, this time drawing their best combined score of 88 points. The mark would prove to be unbeatable in the one-head contest which concluded Sunday, earning Spears his second Clovis Rodeo crown.
“Clovis has always been good to me,” said Spears, who makes his home in Redmond, Ore.
Ranked 40th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings before Clovis, Spears’ Clovis earnings of $7,022 give him a nice boost in the standings as he chases a fourth Wrangler National Finals Rodeo berth and first since 2017.
“It definitely boosts your traveling mood,” laughed Spears, who has been on a break from rodeo for a few weeks, spending time gathering and branding cattle. “I’ve just been sitting home and riding horses, so it’s good to get back to rodeo. It’s a confidence booster, and I look forward to the spring.
“If you can do good at the home-state rodeos, it sets you up, especially after a slower winter, for the long summer run.”
After finishing 18th in the 2018 world standings, Spears is feeling healthy as the ProRodeo season shifts to high gear. He’s looking forward to not only a summer of bull riding and chasing another Wrangler NFR, but also to team roping and tie-down roping at his circuit rodeos in the Columbia River Circuit, where he is the reigning all-around champion.
“That was a big goal of mine, I love roping but never had the horses I needed to compete at the ProRodeos,” he said, giving thanks to girlfriend, Stevie Willis, and Russell Cardoza for helping him improve his horsepower.
The cowboy is not ruling out a run for ProRodeo’s Linderman Award once he gets his young tie-down horse more seasoned.
“When I’m done riding,” he said, “I still want to go to the rodeos and rope.”
Other winners at the $291,541 rodeo were all-around cowboy Cody Doescher ($7,065 in steer wrestling and team roping); bareback rider Clayton Biglow (86.5 points on Calgary Stampede’s Zombie Margie); steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge (22.7 seconds on four head); team ropers Cody Snow/Hunter Koch (31.3 seconds on four head); saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (87.5 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics’ Marquee); tie-down roper Blake Ash (40.9 seconds on four head); and barrel racer Jessie Telford (50.67 seconds on three runs).
For more coverage of the Clovis Rodeo, check out the May 3 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA