Jarrod Ford – Making a living
Jarrod Ford is a rodeo cowboy. Always has been. He was born into a rodeo family and raised in the arena – literally. His dad rode professionally for years and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 1976. His uncle is none other than Bruce Ford, the legendary bareback rider and ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee who shares the record for most world titles in the event with five. Jarrod’s brother, Heath, and cousin, Royce, are both multiple NFR qualifiers and finished Seventh and 15th in the world standings in 2009.
While the Ford name is synonymous with bareback riding, Jarrod chooses to ride bulls. Over the course of the last nine years he has earned two invites to the NFR (2005 and 2006) and won over $425,000. The last three seasons have been difficult for him, but things are looking up.
I caught up with Jarrod in Texas and had the chance to talk about how things are going so far in 2010. “I finished in the top 30 in 2009, but just wasn’t feeling good most of the year.” Jarrod said. “The Doctor was finally able to figure things out in December and I’ve been feeling good and ready to go since then.”
Ford, with travelling partners Howdy Cloud and Jordan Hooton, hit the road in early November and has been gone mostly since. His year started off with a second place finish at the Chris Ledoux Tribute Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., in November 2009 (the PRCA season officially begins in October of each year). Ford followed this with another second place win at the Rapid City Extreme Bulls event in South Dakota the end of January. After this, it was on to Lake Charles, La., where he took second again, followed by a stop in Jackson, Miss., where a trip aboard Frontier Rodeo Company’s Vanilla Ice earned him 90 points and a share of first place in round one of the event.
While this year’s shaping up better than the last two or three, Jarrod admits, “I’ve done well in places, but also let plenty slip by. My goal starting out was to have $30,000 won by the first of April. I’m about half-way there right now.” With rodeos in Bay City, Houston, and Austin Texas coming up there’s still opportunity to earn some nice paychecks. As Jarrod points out, “At rodeos like these a guy can win a lot of money if he gets hot.”
The ultimate goals for this year according to Jarrod are to, “Keep the gold buckle in sight, end the year in the top 15, and qualify for a third NFR.”
It’s a long season, but for now, Jarrod’s doing what he does best – making a living riding bucking bulls.