Bubba Paschal was raised in LaPorte, Texas – Southeast of Houston. “My family was involved in rodeo – they always enjoyed horses and my dad […]
On The Trail with Roscoe Jarboe
Written by: Ruth Nicolaus< Back to Articles
Roscoe Jarboe is “the Rock.” Or at least, that’s what his dad used to call him. When the number five bull rider in the PRCA’s world standings was a little boy, his favorite WWE wrestler was the Rock. His dad would walk through the house, asking if anybody could smell what the Rock was cookin’. And he’s cooked himself up a great start to a rodeo career.
The New Plymouth, Idaho bull rider won the 2016 Resistol Rookie of the Year award, plus qualified for his first Wrangler NFR last year.
He’s been preparing to ride bulls since he was a kid, traveling with his dad, Bo Jarboe, as Bo rode bulls in the Columbia Circuit.
“He cut his teeth (on bull riding) when he was a baby,” Bo said. “I used to load him up in the pickup when I went to rodeos, and it’d be just me and him. Well before he knew what was going on, he was at rodeos.”
Bo rode bulls till about 2000, when Roscoe was four years old, and then he and his then-wife Miss (short for Melissa) built an arena and bucking chutes on his place outside of New Plymouth. They made sure their son had whatever he needed: first calves, then steers, mini-bulls, and bulls.
At New Plymouth High School, Roscoe was in FFA and 4-H and showed pigs. He wrestled and rodeoed, competing in the Idaho High School Rodeo Association his freshman year, and then in the Oregon High School Association his sophomore and junior years. He finished as reserve state champion bull rider in 2012 and 2013, his sophomore and junior years, winning the average his junior year and finishing eleventh in the nation at the National High School Finals Rodeo in 2013.
His senior year Roscoe went pro, getting his PRCA permit that year. He turned 18 in April of 2014, but chose to spend two years as a permit holder before he got his card and entered his rookie year. “I wanted to get the experience, to figure out the rough patches, what rodeos to go to, and what rodeos not to go to,” he said.
For him, rodeo is not just the eight seconds on a bull. The sport is ninety percent mental, Jarboe believes. “Most of us are in good shape to ride bulls, and we work out, but mainly we’re working on our minds.” Riding bulls is like riding a bike; a person doesn’t forget how to, Jarboe said, but staying confident is important. “We just have to keep our minds positive; it’s a mind game. We read books (about mental psychology), and all we have to do is stay positive.”
His traveling partners help. He travels with Dallee Mason, Brady Portenier, and Chase Robbins, and the four keep each other going. “It’s cool because we’re all really good friends, and say we get bucked off,” said Portenier, who is from Caldwell, Idaho. “We don’t talk about it till we get in the car, then we have our words, and everybody has their own opinions, and we usually get something productive out of our conversations. There’s no negativity in the car.”
Roscoe and Brady have known each other since they were kids; their dads rodeoed together, and Brady remembers going to the practice pen with Roscoe. “We picked up horn tips, and thought we were cool,” he said.
This year has been Roscoe’s best year of rodeo. As of press time, he was ranked fifth in the world standings and had $87, 455 won. After competing at his first WNFR and finishing his first year of pro rodeo, his maturity and confidence shows. “I’m just having fun this year,” he said.
Part of that fun is being more relaxed on the road. With his paycheck from the WNFR, he bought a motorhome. He and his buddies are “taking it easy this year, and having fun with what we do.” They sightsee when they have time, taking in Mt. Rushmore and other places, and they bowl and golf. “We’re being kids,” he said. Golfing is big for him and his buddies. “We golf all the time. That’s like another job for me. It’s so relaxing to just get out there and hit some balls.”
His biggest win this year was at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, where he won the finals on D&H Cattle Company’s Sweet Pro Bruiser, scoring 91 on the bull. It was a bull he would love to get on again. “He’d be good to get on any time. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to get on that bull.”
Last year, Roscoe’s biggest win was Cheyenne Frontier Days, when he covered all three of his bulls, won the second round, finished fourth in the finals, and won the average with 246 points on three head.
Jarboe didn’t let nerves get to him at his first WNFR, even though it was everything and more than he expected. “Everybody tells you it’s just another rodeo,” he said. “When you get there, it’s a lot bigger than that. But once you get behind the bucking chutes, you can’t see the crowd and the lights aren’t too bright, and it’s just another rodeo. You focus on riding your bull.” He covered his first two bulls, but regretted not riding more. When the WNFR was over, he wished there were more bulls to ride. “I could have gone a couple more rounds, but that’s because I was disappointed in how I finished.”
He has several nice buckles, including one from his Cheyenne Frontier Days win in 2016 and one from round two of the WNFR, but he wears a buckle he won in 2011 showing pigs at the Payette County Fair. He was grand champion two years in a row, and loved showing pigs. “It was a good experience because you had to raise an animal and treat them as you want to be treated. Pigs have a personality of their own. They’re probably one of my favorite animals.” He doesn’t wear his good buckles, not wanting to scratch them.
Roscoe’s younger sister, Harli Jo, is the pig showing expert in the family. She’s won grand champion several years in a row. The 16-year-old is graduating from high school a year early to move on to college. “My kids achieve what they set out to do,” Miss said. “They work very hard for their goals. The best thing is they are very humble about it.”
Roscoe has his own style of bull riding. “Everyone likes to talk about how he’s got some crazy wild style,” Portenier said, “but when you break it down, he does the basics better than a lot of guys, and does them well. When he gets into those wild positions, he’s able to fall back to the basics, and go to home base, and doggone ride them.”
His buddies have named it “the noodle.” “He noodles them,” Portenier said. “He can get into a really bad position, to where most guys would quit or plain not have the ability to get back in the middle. But Roscoe seems to do it more than not. Everybody has that one time when they’re hanging off to the side and can wiggle back, but I’ve seen Roscoe do that quite a bit.”
His dad Bo, and his mom, Miss, divorced when he was 16. His dad travels for his job, and if the rodeo is close, will drive seven or eight hours to watch him ride. Roscoe’s style of riding isn’t like his dad’s. “He’s got his own style,” Bo said. “It’s a really strange style that works for him. I wish he would change it up just a little bit so his body lasts for a while. But the more time goes, he may change it up.”
He and fellow bull rider Garrett Tribbles were neck and neck for the Resistol Rookie race all year. Both qualified for the Wrangler National Finals, but Roscoe edged out Garrett at the end of the season by over $20,000. Robbins, Roscoe’s traveling partner, finished third in the Resistol race.
He’s ready for this year’s Wrangler NFR. Last year didn’t go as he wanted. “I started getting down on myself, and that’s the worst place to do it, at the (National) Finals.” This year he’ll know what to expect. “It’s still nerve-wracking when you get there, but I’ll feel like I’ve been there and done that.”
Roscoe has qualified for and competed at the Columbia River Circuit Finals twice and competed at the PBRs early in his career.
He’s ready to repeat what he did last year, when he was on a roll. “It’s hard not to win when you can’t fall off. There are ups and downs (in bull riding), but when you get one rode, you just roll with it, and let it happen till it starts not happening anymore.
“I try to keep my head focused and do what I’m supposed to do.”