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Jacobs Crawley riding his way to the top 8 seconds at a time

Jacobs Crawley
Jacobs Crawley Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

No one can say Jacobs Crawley hasn’t earned his paychecks this rodeo season.

The Stephenville, Texas, cowboy has competed in roughly 100 rodeos this year, earning $133,598 in the saddle bronc event. That comes out to about $1,336 per rodeo — which doesn’t count money earned at the Calgary Stampede.

Money is never guaranteed, and there have been nights when Crawley has left an arena with zero dollars in his pocket, but that doesn’t happen very often.

“It has been going great,” Crawley said, who leads the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association saddle bronc standings with less than two months left in the season. “We are rolling along and keeping our nose down. I won some pretty good money in Calgary. I placed in a few rounds and won one. It’s an awesome day when you get out of there with $10,000.”

Crawley, the 2015 National Finals Rodeo and world champion, will be up Wednesday night when the chutes open on the 29th annual Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston. Action starts at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Crawley, 28, is in his sixth full season on the PRCA circuit. Through last year, he had earned $926,187.

This year, he has won titles at 11 rodeos and was co-champ at two more. And it’s not because he has drawn the top horses in the pen.

“There’s been some good ones here and there, but not necessarily on a consistent basis,” Crawley said. “I’ve just been able to use the opportunity I’ve been given. I compete about anywhere they have bronc riding. I don’t take anything for granted.”

And it’s not an easy job with young riders such as 20-year-old Rusty Wright nippin’ at your backside every step of the way. Wright is sitting second in the PRCA standings with $109,851. There is a bit of a gap between Wright and the rest of the field, which includes Crawley’s younger brother Sterling, who is 12th ($47,660), and a whole herd of Wrights, including Wright’s younger brother Ryder (16th, $44,356), who is sitting just outside the NFR race by $83.64 in his rookie season.

Ryder Wright is leading the PRCA rookie standings in the saddle bronc by more than $17,000.

“Rusty is a great bronc rider,” Crawley said. “He didn’t have to look far for a coach. Same goes for Ryder.”

Rusty and Ryder’s dad, Cody Wright, has been on the PRCA circuit since 1998, winning two world titles (2008, 2010) with 12 trips to the NFR. Cody is 14th in the PRCA saddle bronc standings with $44,714, while his younger brother Jake is eighth ($63,490).

Crawley has a busy week ahead. After the event in Hermiston, he will compete in Oklahoma on Thursday, New Mexico on Friday, Missouri on Saturday and Wyoming on Sunday.

Crawley will return to the Northwest for the Champions Challenge on Aug. 23 in Kennewick, then will stay and compete at the Horse Heaven Round-Up. He also will make stops in Canby (Ore.), Omak and Moses Lake.

“I love the Northwest,” Crawley said. “It’s 105 here (in Texas) today. It’s usually beautiful weather up there.”

Part of Crawley’s earnings come from the Champions Challenge, in which he is part of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame team that is sitting eighth out of 11 teams in the standings entering Sunday’s event in Cody, Wyo.

“We have the best team in heart,” Crawley said, chuckling. “There have been some rough roads, but it’s all in fun.”

Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574, @TCHIceQueen