The Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo is a marathon, not a sprint, as J.D. Struxness is aware. He didn’t mind that he only won $79 for finishing eighth in the steer wrestling competition’s first round. The Milan, Minnesota, cowboy is aware that what matters is not how you begin but how you end. And that’s precisely what he did: finished. Struxness won round two with a run of 3.8 seconds after his 4.7-second opening attempt and finished third in the finals with a performance of 4.8 seconds. It was Struxness’ first victory since the first weekend of August thanks to his combined time of 13.3 seconds.
The fact that the first one takes a bit longer in Ellensburg, according to Struxness, “never takes you out of it.” “You just take the opportunities to set yourself up and see how the cards fall if you have a good chance to come back on a good steer,” said the player. Struxness’ catchphrase has been “bounce back” for a while. Late in July, in the Deadwood, South Dakota, Days of ’76 Rodeo, the four-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo finished third on average. The following weekend, in Great Falls, Montana, he won the opening round of the Big Sky Pro Rodeo.
After then, things became a little more challenging. Struxness’ main horse had an injury that forced her to miss a significant amount of time. Struxness has tried riding several horses to keep up with the group, but nothing has seemed quite right. Since his victory at Big Sky, Struxness has competed in 10 other rodeos, finishing last in eight of them and earning a total of around $2,600.
“I had my horse get hurt after Deadwood, and I really went on a dry period. Since then, I’ve been attempting to figure out and find my rhythm with different horses. That was undoubtedly a significant contributor to my dry period there, said Struxness. Finally, I’ve had a chance to ride Bridger Anderson’s horse for a few days and have been getting along well with him and developing a solid sense of who he is. It was fantastic that everything came together this week, and we achieved a significant victory.
Struxness has solidified his position in the PRCA | World Standings, moving up to seventh place with more than $100,000 earned for the season after breaking a dry spell and earning about $9,700 in Washington. Struxness has taken another step toward earning his fifth NFR certification with his win in Ellensburg. After finishing sixth in the world the previous year, he would be visiting Las Vegas for the second time in a row. A person always wants to settle down and put the wondering behind him as we enter this month, Struxness observed. Therefore, it’s fantastic this time of year whenever you can win money and feel a little more comfortable.
Stetson Wright, an all-around cowboy, won $14,970 in saddle bronc riding and bull riding at the $394,113 rodeo. Keenan Hayes, a bareback rider (174 points on two heads); group roper Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira (17.0 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Stetson Wright (177.5 focuses on two head); secure roper John Douch (26.3 seconds on three head); barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (51.21 seconds on three runs); breakaway roper Kelsie Domer (7.4 seconds on three head); steer roper Taylor Santos (23.4 seconds on two head); also, bull rider T Parker (176 focuses on two head).