J.J. Elshere – Hereford, S.D. ($90,811)
5-time WNFR qualifier
J.J. Elshere is going to celebrate his 40th birthday by getting on a bucking horse and riding for a world championship.
J.J., short for Jeremy James, will turn 40, December 5th, the first night of this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He had a string of NFR qualifications from 2006 through 2010. His first year in Las Vegas saw him winning the overall championship of the NFR and finishing 6th in the world. In 2008 and 2009 he finished third.
The last time J.J. was at the NFR, his youngest son hadn’t been born yet. His wife, Lindsay would show up at the Thomas and Mack Center, four boys in tow and make her way to their seats while J.J. headed to the locker room.
The oldest of those boys, Talon, is a junior in high school now who qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the saddle bronc riding last July. It was held in Rock Springs, Wyoming and J.J. was there to see his son win fourth.
J.J. never quit competing, but with ranch responsibilities and five boys, he stayed closer to home until 2017. When the RAM National Circuit Finals money counted towards the PRCA world standings, he thought he might have a chance to be back at the NFR.
He came with in $362 last year. He finished in 16th place behind Chase Brooks. This year he will be there. He starts the NFR in 15th place with $90,811 in regular season earnings. He edged out Isaac Diaz by $1,026.
He has been right around that 15th spot for much of this year’s regular season. He was finishing up at the Corn Palace Challenge in Mitchell, South Dakota on September 27. He had just finished his ride and caught his foot on a post in a panel. Luckily it was after a ride that got him a third-place check of $2,680.
J.J. had broken his tibia and fibula. Three days later he had surgery and they