“I needed to win this,” said Jones, who earned more than $10,000 as a result. “Wyoming’s my home state. This is the biggest rodeo of the summer. I’ve always wanted to win it, it just took me longer than I thought it would.”
The all-around title came after Jones finished fourth in the average for calf roping and seventh in the team roping average. Sunday was a pivotal day as Jones finished third in the short-go for calf roping and seventh in the team roping.
But the whole appearance almost didn’t take place.
“I hurt my good horse just before the Fourth of July,” said Jones. “I was trying to ride a couple different horses, but I didn’t feel any of the horses I was riding were good enough. I almost wasn’t going to go, but a friend said I should just ride his.”
That offer from Corey Zion came in the knick of time for Jones to catch a flight from Worland to Laramie, hitch a ride from Laramie to Cheyenne and get to the arena just in time to hear his name called.
Good thing. Jones won $1,000 that slack, getting his week off to a solid start. Jones roped a calf the next morning, but thought his time of 18 seconds would be too long. He drove back to Laramie, hopped a flight to Worland, drove back down to Cheyenne to take his two runs at steer roping, then continued on to Steamboat Springs and Eagle, Colo., to compete in rodeos before returning to Cheyenne for team roping.
“It was a busy week, but it was definitely worth it,” Jones said of his travels.
With his performance, Jones said he has now won enough money to go to the circuit finals in both calf and team roping this year. He’ll continue to compete in circuit events to meet the participation criteria for qualifying for the circuit finals and has his sights set on reaching the Dodge National Circuit Finals event.
In the meantime, he’ll continue to train a few more horses with appearances in the Cody Nite Rodeo. He’s also receiving plenty of attention for his exploits in Cheyenne.
“I didn’t know there were that many people that keep track of it,” said Jones. “Heck, a lot of my friends have called to congratulate me. My phone’s rung like crazy.”
Jones is the son of Carl and Linda Jones, of Ralston.