Greg Hansen: No slackers allowed at Tucson Rodeo’s ruthless cowboy event earlier this week | Greg Hansen
Barnes and Sherwood seemed somewhat out of place in a large group of loose hopefuls, young gunslingers with cowboy-specific names like Cody, Clay, Colter, Cache, Casey, Cash and Clint.
None of them could have guessed that 62-year-old Jake Barnes has an unparalleled legacy at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros.
Exactly 90 years ago on Tuesday, Barnes’ uncle Jake McClure won the 1932 La Fiesta de los Vaqueros pageant. Uncle Jake also won it in 1934 and 1935. Today Jake Barnes, who is 6ft 3in, still looks fit enough to win here again, as he did in 1985, 2003 and 2004.
The Eastern New Mexico University graduate, 27-time NFR finalist who now lives near Reno, said he started cutting back on his competition schedule in 2015. “A horse fell on me and I suffered a brain injury and a broken ankle,” he said. . He also somehow survived a horrific injury in 2007 when his right thumb got caught in its rope; his thumb was severed at the knuckle.
But you would never know now.
Barnes and team partner Jaylen Eldridge won Monday’s slack competition and will be in the field the rest of the week. They were paid $3,950 each.
Now, rather than traveling to 60 rodeos each year, Barnes is spending more time with his family and five children, including former Arizona State basketball player Bo Barnes. Once a winner, always a winner, right?