FORT WORTH, Texas – Last season was forgettable for steer wrestler Jacob Talley.
The Keatchie, La., cowboy who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2016 and 2018, tore his right pectoral muscle on his second steer at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up, April 18.
Talley had surgery April 23 in Red Bluff. He was out for 11 weeks with the injury, and it derailed him from making the Wrangler NFR. He finished 50th in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $32,515.
“They told me it was going to be a six-to-eight-month injury, and I went through an extremely rough training program,” said Talley, 29. “I changed the way I ate, and I did everything I could to speed up the healing. I missed quite a bit in those 11 weeks, and it was a struggle, I’m not going to lie.”
This year, Talley is healthy, and it showed as he won the steer wrestling in 4.1 seconds in the second semifinals at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo before a sellout crowd of 9,300 at the new Dickies Arena, Friday night.
“The pectoral muscle is strong and working good,” Talley said. “It was great (to get that run Friday). When you get kicked off having a good winter that helps a lot. I didn’t qualify for some of the bigger rodeos this winter. I didn’t even qualify here (in Fort Worth). I was the first alternate and someone turned out and I got in.”
The final round in Fort Worth will air on The Cowboy Channel at 8:30 p.m., Saturday.
So far at Fort Worth, Talley has earned $6,640.
The top four in each event in Thursday’s and Friday’s semifinals filled out the spots for the eight-man finals. The winner Saturday earns $20,000.
Talley was riding Baby Doll, a horse owned by Sam Dixon. Will Lummus, who finished second Friday in 4.2 seconds, also was riding Baby Doll. Lummus won Round 8 at the 2019 Wrangler NFR in 3.6 seconds on Baby Doll.
“Sam let us take her (Baby Doll) all last year, and Will rode her for three rounds at the NFR and won the very first round he rode her,” Talley said. “She’s only 7 years old and she’s amazing. She has been a real blessing for us, and Sam has as well to let us take her. She was perfect (Friday night). You can go really fast on her and she will let you have a chance to win every time.”
Talley has a simple plan for Saturday’s finals.
“I want to go fast and win first,” said Talley, who also is splitting the average lead at the San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo with 8.9 seconds on two head. “It’s good to get on a roll this early.”
In the saddle bronc riding, Spencer Wright just missed tying the Fort Worth rodeo record of 91 points set by his brother Cody in 2011. Spencer Wright posted a 90.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Stampede Warrior.
Other winners Friday were bareback riders Clint Laye (86.5 points on Championship Pro Rodeo’s Stacked Deck) and Paden Hurst (86.5 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s Holy Grail); tie-down roper Tyson Durfey (7.8 seconds); team ropers Tyler Wade/Billie Jack Saebens (5.2 seconds); barrel racer Lisa Lockhart (16.39 seconds); and bull rider Trey Kimzey (86 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s Texas Red).
Courtesy of PRCA