Rising Rodeo Star: Wilderness Circuit Steer Wrestler Jake “Shoop” Stocking
The quickest event in professional rodeo was born in the 1890s. As legend has it, Wild West show performer Bill “The Dusky Demon” Pickett caught a runaway steer by wrestling it to the ground. Over 100 years ago, Bill Pickett founded an event that requires teamwork, speed, and strength.
Get to know the 2020 Wilderness Circuit Average Champion
Jake “Shoop” Stocking is a 26-year-old steer wrestler coming to you from the Beehive State of Utah. When he is not rodeoing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Abbie, son, Slade (3), and daughter, Lydia (1). His uncle, Jake Ashworth, and Clint Robinson (Ashworth’s traveling partner) started calling him Shoop as a young kid. They would say a different word, and Shoop would say “shoot” instead, though he couldn’t pronounce the “T” and it came out “shoop.” Shoop will be in Kissimmee at the rodeo on April 9th and 10th, competing for the title of RAM NCFR Steer Wrestling Champion! Learn more about steer wrestling and steer wrestler Jake “Shoop” Stocking, a rising star in the rodeo industry.
Getting started in rodeo
Shoop grew up submerged in the rodeo industry and the traditions it entails. His uncle, Jake Ashworth, a Wilderness Circuit steer wrestler, and Clint Robinson introduced the 2020 Wilderness Circuit average winner to steer wrestling. However, he didn’t begin rodeoing competitively until a football injury left him sidelined. During college, Shoop moved in with his Uncle Jake while he rodeoed in college. In the beginning, it was a struggle to find consistency. Coming from a football background, it was difficult for Shoop to adapt to bulldogging techniques. However, he is thankful he started rodeoing after high school, as many rodeo contestants begin their events as kids. Getting into the sport at an older age allowed Shoop to diversify himself athletically. Not only is Shoop a champion inside the rodeo arena, but he also holds titles as a back-to-back state champion quarterback.
Fulfilling gold buckle dreams
Shoop mentions that it “takes an army to get you where you are.” Jake Ashworth, Olin Hannum, Clint Robinson, and Craig Smith all have a part in cultivating this champion.
Shoop went on to tell us that, “Olin changed things for the better when he called and ask if I wanted to partner on Maverick a few years ago. Olin and Maverick have been a big part of my success in rodeo.” Besides Olin and Maverick, he couldn’t accomplish his dreams without sponsors Redmond Equine and BioMane.
Shoop describes the sport of rodeo as the kicker in football. You only have one chance to win the game. Along with his traveling partners, friends, and mentors, he trains daily to maintain physical health. To stay in shape, he lifts weights and rides the Peloton every day. Chute dogging steers also helps him to perfect his technique without wearing down Maverick, the horse he and Olin Hannum are partners on. From the first steer run in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to the 3rd round of the Wilderness Circuit Finals this past year, there have been many memorable runs.
During the last out at the 2020 Wilderness Circuit Finals, Shoop was winning the average with an 8.4 on two head. As he was awaiting his turn, Dirk Tavenner ran with the steer Shoop won the 2nd round on. Dirk missed the steer and opened the chance for Shoop. With a 2.3-second lead, he walked through the likelihood of his run in his head. He was prepared for the steer to dart left or stop suddenly, making it difficult to catch. Shoop knew he had to stay aggressive. With a good start and Olin hazing, his winning run was off to a good start! After a slight bobble with his feet slipping, he knew he had to make the time count. He caught him fast, right in front of the chute. He knew as the steer hit the ground he would be making his first trip to Florida! In Shoop’s book, he secured a complete victory. With all circuit finals prize money counting for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and another rodeo with his traveling partner, Olin Hannum, Shoop’s win is more than just getting them to the rodeo in Kissimmee (though that’s a win in itself)!
What sets the RAM NCFR apart from the rest?
It’s the two-time Wilderness Circuit Finals qualifier’s first trip to Kissimmee! The RAM NCFR is a national championship rodeo, hosting the top 24 athletes in each event from each circuit. The best of the best, the most elite rodeo contestants in each circuit, put everything on the line to win. Competition is tight, money is huge, and the earnings could be enough to make it or break it. Without the RAM NCFR, there would be a lot of blanks left to fill on the road to gold buckles.
The RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo will be in Kissimmee April 9-10, 2021 at the Silver Spurs Arena. Champions from across the country will gather to compete in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and more! As an added bonus, there are a multitude of things to do in Kissimmee! Come for the rodeo and experience Kissimmee!