Stephenville native Jacobs Crawley knows that the PRCA’s saddle bronc riding title, as always, will come down to the big year-end Wranger National Finals Rodeo Dec. 6-15 in Las Vegas. In the meantime he will be enjoying his return home this week for the 49th annual Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo at Lone Star Arena.
Crawley, the 2015 saddle bronc world champion, once again is the current leader in the world standings, listed by the PRCA with earnings of $159,933 so far this year as of Monday. Right behind him is 2017 champion Ryder Wright of Utah, with $158,318. Desdemona’s Isaac Diaz ranks third in the world, with $122,276.
Sterling Crawley, Jacobs’ younger brother by three years, is currently ninth in the world in saddle bronc with earnings of $97,673.
“I love going to the Stephenville rodeo,” said Jacobs, who was a 2006 Stephenville High School graduate and now resides in Boerne. “There are a lot of family members and a lot of my friends there. I love coming back and getting to see everybody.
“They have a great rodeo committee, their hospitality is great, and everybody looks forward to coming.”
Jacobs said that Sterling, who still makes his home in Erath County, sustained a recent knee sprain and was going to see a doctor this week before deciding if he will be able to compete in the Stephenville rodeo.
The big-money NFR in Las Vegas, featuring the top 15 in each event, has such big stakes that it always decides who comes out on top in the year-end standings as determined by total prize money earned for the calendar year. He said the NFR pays about $27,000 for each round, and about $67,000 for the average.
“Nothing is decided until then,” Jacobs said. “That’s everybody’s goal. That’s why everybody is jockeying for position.”
He said he still enjoys his life on the pro rodeo circuit. But the dynamics have changed as a married man, and they have a son who is just 10 months old. His wife and son travel with him as much as possible, he said.
And, to make things even nicer, he’s healthy.
“This is as good as I’ve felt physically in three or four years,” Jacobs said.
Thursday will be the first day of action at Lone Star Arena, starting at 9 a.m. with steer roping slack. WPRA barrel racing slack will start at 6 p.m. Urban Cowboy Night — Johnny Lee “Lookin’ for Love in Erath County” — will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Birdsong Arena at the Stephenville City Park.
On Friday, timed event slack will begin at 8 a.m. The evening rodeo performance, featured as “American Patriot Night” will start at 7 p.m.
On Saturday the Rodeo Heritage Parade will be at 10 a.m. The route begins at the City Park, continues to Graham Street down to Barton, and back to City Park and ending at the Rec Hall. The special needs rodeo is set for 11 a.m. The evening PRCA rodeo performance will be at 7.
Sunday, the final day, will feature the PRCA performance starting at 2 p.m.
This is the 49th annual CCW Rodeo, and drew 568 entries for the second year in a row. The competition includes bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, and women’s barrel racing.
“We started with the exact same number of entries that we had last year,” said Stephenville rodeo secretary Delia Walls, who is in her 48th year of working with pro rodeos. “They have huge crowds, especially Saturday and Sunday. People should buy tickets in advance. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.”
Walls noted that this marks the third year in a row that the CCW Rodeo has bee nominated for PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year Award.
Jacobs and Sterling Crawley are scheduled to compete back-to-back early Friday evening in the first performance of the saddle bronc competition. The action starts at 7 that night, and they are set to go third and fourth.
Saturday night during the second performance, Toby Collins of Stephenville is slated to compete second, followed by Tyrell Smith of Stephenville going third, and Jacob Lewis of Stephenville sixth. Isaac Diaz of Desdemona is scheduled to compete Sunday afternoon.
Stephenville’s Toby Collins is scheduled to compete during Saturday evening’s performance. Collins is ranked 21st in the world standings, with 247.50 points.
Bull riding fans will want to be sure to watch Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, when he competes here Sunday afternoon. Kimzey is seeking his fifth consecutive PRCA world bull riding title. His streak began in 2014. Kimzey is leading the PRCA bull riding standings with 1,015.00 points — well ahead of Jeff Askey of Athens, Texas, who has 618.92.
Stephenville’s Richmond Champion is scheduled to compete in the third bareback riding performance Saturday evening. He ranks 10th in the world with 575.00 points.
Seth Hardwick of Wyoming and Texan Bill Tutor from Huntsville, ranked No. 3 and 4 in the world, will compete here Sunday afternoon.
Dublin’s Cody Harmon along with Stephenville residents Tyler Waguespack, Bill Pace, Jimmy DeLeon, Don Payne and Grady Payne are set to compete Friday morning in the steer wrestling slack.
Waguespack is ranked fourth in the world with 902.50 points.
Jason Evans from Glen Rose is set to compete in the Thursday morning slack. He currently ranks No. 20 in the world with $25,718.
Stephenville has multiple competitors in the tie-down roping event — featuring Marty Yates, ranked 10th in the world with 580 points, Cimarron Boardman, 16th with 495 points, and Sterling Smith, 26th with 390 points. Sy Felton and Sterling Keid Williams of Stephenville, plus Neil Dove and Trevor Ervin of Hico, Josh Huntington of Bluff Dale, Ryan Watkins of Morgan Mill are also scheduled. Former Stephenville resident Clay Long, now of Springtown, also will be competing.
The brightest spotlight, however, could be on a pair of standouts from Decatur — the world’s top-ranked tie-down roper, Tuf Cooper, and fifth-ranked Trevor Brazile, along with second-ranked Shane Hanchey from Louisiana. Cooper and Hanchey will be competing during Saturday evening’s performance. Brazile is set for his performance during the Friday morning slack.
Heelers Kory Koontz and Cole Davison of Stephenville, ranked fourth and 11th in the world, respectively, are among the headliners, along with second-ranked Travis Graves of Morgan Mill.
The top headers scheduled to perform here are second-ranked Clay Tryan of Montana and Morgan Mill’s Chad Masters, No. 3 in the world.
Other area entrants include York Gill, Logan Olson, Walt Woodard, Tyler Waters, Cole Davison, Kory Koontz, Jake Cooper, Logan Medlin and Kelsey Parchman of Stephenville, along with Blaine Vick of Dublin and Charly Crawford from Huckabay.
Among the multiple entrants from Stephenville and the area, the highest-ranked entering the rodeo are Cheyenne Wimberly of Stephenville, No. 71 in the world, and Billie Ann Harmon of Dublin, ranked 78th. Wimberly is slated to go on during Thursday evening’s slack, and Harmon is set to compete Friday evening.
The field includes world No. 1 Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, who currently has earnings totaling $192,412.