Consistency pays off for saddle bronc rider


Rider has one arm straight up, hanging on as horse kicks.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Sacaton, Arizona saddle bronc rider Jalen Joaquin won the average title at the 96th annual Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial Rodeo with an aggregate of 144 points.

In his Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial debut two years ago, Jalen Joaquin remembers “getting smoked.”

As a college freshman, Joaquin got entered in the saddle bronc riding and he left Red Rock Park a little flustered.

In his second attempt, the Sacaton, Arizona, cowboy had some positive feelings about his chances at the 96th annual event after completing a ride at a prorodeo show in California earlier last week.

“I made a ride out there so I felt some good vibes,” he said.

Unlike at his debut, Joaquin smoked the competition by winning first in the long go, short go and average race. He started the competition with a 70-point ride and in the short go he added a 74-point ride for an aggregate of 144 points.

“I tried to stay consistent,” Joaquin said. “Like my prorodeos, I am trying to build up my confidence. If I can ride as good as today I can pull a check every single time.”

In his opening ride, Joaquin said he got his spur caught for two jumps and that cost him.

“I am a little upset with myself with that but I have to keep improving and get myself out of that kind of situation and get as many points as possible as I can,” he said.

On his short round ride on Sunday afternoon, Joaquin said he waited a while to call out his horse as his draw had some tantrum issues in the chute.

“I tried to stay as calm as I can be,” he said. “Some horses are like that but when they come out of the chute they are going to buck the same, so I had to bear down and do my job.”

Joaquin finished ahead of Vince Tsosie and Kane Kee in the average race as the latter two finished with 128 and 123 points, respectively, on two heads.

“It was a good win,” said Joaquin, who added that he considered entering the buffalo race.

“I thought about it but I didn’t want to get injured and make the drive back to California,” he said.

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Categories: Rodeo

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at