Stetson Jorgensen took a moment to collect himself.
His first-round steer wrestling run at the RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals in Heber City, Utah, had not gone as planned. Jorgensen’s time of 5.1 seconds was not good enough to place among the top four and earn any money, putting him behind from the outset.
So, the Blackfoot, Idaho, native made a decision – it was time to let loose.
“The first round, I had a really good steer, and I didn’t really know what the start was going to be, and I double-guessed myself and missed the barrier,” Jorgensen said. “I just told myself, ‘Hey man, you’re here. You might as well run at the barrier and make the best of it.’ And that’s what I did the next two rounds and it definitely worked out in my favor.”
The approach paid dividends as Jorgensen won each of the next two rounds with times of 3.3 and 3.9 seconds, respectively. His aggregate time of 12.3 seconds on three head was enough to edge Colton Mooney by two-tenths of a second for the title, earning Jorgensen just shy of $8,000 for the weekend.
The victory was crucial for the four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier as the tail end of his 2023 season didn’t go exactly as expected.
Jorgensen, who finished the year 27th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, went into the Washington State Fair Pro Rodeo in early September knowing that he needed a late season push if he was going to qualify for his fifth straight NFR.
Unfortunately, Jorgensen’s first run didn’t go well, forcing the veteran steer wrestler to rethink his plans.
“I just finished that rodeo and took my losses and drew everything else out and went home,” Jorgensen said with a laugh. “I went to go pick up my chickens and get them all in line again.”
That’s why the RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo was so important. With a little downtime between now and the heart of the winter rodeo season, Jorgensen will spend the next few weeks practicing before heading down to Texas in December to start amping up for the indoor schedule.
Jorgeson now has some momentum to build on for the 2024 season and his quest for a return to the NFR.
“I needed that – a boost of confidence. The horse was working great, and this is for sure a great start (to 2024) for me,” Jorgensen said.
Other winners at the $204,962 rodeo were bareback rider Cooper Cooke (261 points on three head); team ropers Tanner Pallesen/Max Kuttler (16.2 seconds on three head); saddle bronc riders Spencer Wright and Statler Wright (256.5 points on three head each); tie-down roper Chance Thiessen (25.3 seconds on three head); barrel racers Abby Phillips and Savannah Bennett (46.78 seconds on three runs); and bull rider Josh Frost (176 points on two head).
Courtesy of PRCA