Nebraska’s Jayce Johnson glad he returned to Greeley Stampede Rodeo | TheFencePost.com

Nebraska’s Jayce Johnson glad he returned to Greeley Stampede Rodeo

Jayce Johnson trotted into Island Grove Arena on his horse, Jasper, with a little bit of redemption on his mind.

He has 8.4 reasons to believe he has achieved his redemption and then some.

After a rough first go on Tuesday, Johnson had the fastest single-round time of the rodeo, 8.4 seconds, in tie-down roping at the Greeley Stampede on Thursday.

“The calf I drew, I called one of my friends who had her previously,” Johnson said. “He said she really runs hard. She’s really good to handle on the ground, but is just a super fast calf. I knew I had one of the faster horses. He really performed well (Thursday), and I got a really good head start on (the calf).”

Johnson, a 23-year-old resident of Hemingford, Neb., didn’t score Tuesday. He also struggled in his first ever trip to the Stampede two years ago.

Though Johnson won’t be back for Saturday’s finals because of his no score Tuesday, he said it felt good Thursday to finally paint himself a pretty mental picture of the Stampede to take with him when he leaves Greeley.

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He’ll also take with him the expectation of receiving a check upwards of $3,000, or $4,000, though he won’t know exactly how much he has earned until the rodeo wraps up Saturday.

“I’ve taken a could days off (before Thursday) and I think it really helped to get relaxed,” Johnson said. “Two years ago, I didn’t have very much luck here, and I was here for my first round on Tuesday in the slack. I drew the calf that the guy right after me (on Thursday) Britt Bath (who didn’t score) had. She’s just not the one you want to draw. I had my string on her and she just stood up and ran off.”

Johnson raised Jasper himself and said Jasper complements his riding style well. Jasper just had to get over one obstacle: The potential for stage fright in front of an estimated crowd of 5,400.

“He’s kind of younger, and he’s not as seasoned as most, so these bigger crowds traditionally kind of bother him,” Johnson said. “When he was in Denver and Fort Worth, he was kind of looking at the crowds a little more. (Thursday) he did really good.”

Johnson, who began his pro career five years ago, said a roper’s success falls heavily on the shoulders of his horse.

“You’re on your own out there (as opposed to team roping), but you rely so heavily on your horse,” he said. “There’s a relationship between the rider and the horse. … When you jump off, it’s a leap of faith.”

Johnson just graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla., with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

He said he plans to eventually follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in real estate.

As for the immediate future though, Johnson said he plans to build on the bit of momentum he gained Thursday as he bounces around from rodeo to rodeo this summer with hopes of continuing to cash big paychecks.

Next up, Johnson will compete in some semipro amateur rodeos then will embark on a series of circuit rodeos.

Johnson had to sit out last season with a broken hand but said so far he’s off to a decent start this season.

“This year we’re winning a little bit more,” said Johnson, who earned between $5,000 to $6,000 in June. “I think (Jasper and I) are both ready to compete.”

Jayce Johnson trotted into Island Grove Arena on his horse, Jasper, with a little bit of redemption on his mind.

He has 8.4 reasons to believe he has achieved his redemption and then some.

After a rough first go on Tuesday, Johnson had the fastest single-round time of the rodeo, 8.4 seconds, in tie-down roping at the Greeley Stampede on Thursday.

“The calf I drew, I called one of my friends who had her previously,” Johnson said. “He said she really runs hard. She’s really good to handle on the ground, but is just a super fast calf. I knew I had one of the faster horses. He really performed well (Thursday), and I got a really good head start on (the calf).”

Johnson, a 23-year-old resident of Hemingford, Neb., didn’t score Tuesday. He also struggled in his first ever trip to the Stampede two years ago.

Though Johnson won’t be back for Saturday’s finals because of his no score Tuesday, he said it felt good Thursday to finally paint himself a pretty mental picture of the Stampede to take with him when he leaves Greeley.

He’ll also take with him the expectation of receiving a check upwards of $3,000, or $4,000, though he won’t know exactly how much he has earned until the rodeo wraps up Saturday.

“I’ve taken a could days off (before Thursday) and I think it really helped to get relaxed,” Johnson said. “Two years ago, I didn’t have very much luck here, and I was here for my first round on Tuesday in the slack. I drew the calf that the guy right after me (on Thursday) Britt Bath (who didn’t score) had. She’s just not the one you want to draw. I had my string on her and she just stood up and ran off.”

Johnson raised Jasper himself and said Jasper complements his riding style well. Jasper just had to get over one obstacle: The potential for stage fright in front of an estimated crowd of 5,400.

“He’s kind of younger, and he’s not as seasoned as most, so these bigger crowds traditionally kind of bother him,” Johnson said. “When he was in Denver and Fort Worth, he was kind of looking at the crowds a little more. (Thursday) he did really good.”

Johnson, who began his pro career five years ago, said a roper’s success falls heavily on the shoulders of his horse.

“You’re on your own out there (as opposed to team roping), but you rely so heavily on your horse,” he said. “There’s a relationship between the rider and the horse. … When you jump off, it’s a leap of faith.”

Johnson just graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla., with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

He said he plans to eventually follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in real estate.

As for the immediate future though, Johnson said he plans to build on the bit of momentum he gained Thursday as he bounces around from rodeo to rodeo this summer with hopes of continuing to cash big paychecks.

Next up, Johnson will compete in some semipro amateur rodeos then will embark on a series of circuit rodeos.

Johnson had to sit out last season with a broken hand but said so far he’s off to a decent start this season.

“This year we’re winning a little bit more,” said Johnson, who earned between $5,000 to $6,000 in June. “I think (Jasper and I) are both ready to compete.”