Askey Fuels His Fire with the Ghost of NFR Past

Using the last three years of missing the National Finals Rodeo as fuel to his personal competitive fire, Jeff Askey made the most of the 2016 PRCA season and arrives in Las Vegas ranked number three.

“Last year I missed the NFR by $207 dollars and was sixteenth, the year before I was nineteenth and the year before that I was twenty-first,” said Askey, a freshman of the 2016 NFR class of bull riders.

Winning the short round and finishing second in Denver’s prestigious National Western Stock Show in January launched Askey’s goal to finish in the top five and not just the top fifteen. He set out with a different goal for the 2016 season and that was to get and stay closer to the top of the standings of the PRCA's elite bull riders.

“I earned a pretty good check in Denver and that put me up around the top five, from there I moved up to second and bounced up and down the top ten adding checks from San Antonio Extreme Bulls and then I won Fort Smith, second in Cheyenne and won the short go there,” continued Askey.

Beating last year’s earnings by about $20,000, Askey’s plan was effective and with $109,339.24 in his NFR bank he heads to Las Vegas for the first time.

Askey revealed that he had top 15 goals for the past three years, but this year’s goal was to go to Vegas ranked in the top three or four.

“I was more ambitious this year and set higher goals for the top 3 or 4, I set a higher goal to make it work this year.”

Askey's job as he traveled with NFR qualifier Cody Rostockyj and Bailey Wordon for most of the year was the business part and admitted to being the adult in the vehicle, most of the time.

“I plan for the next three or four weeks and do all the entering, I am obviously the responsible one,” chuckled Askey.

“Riding bulls is your life and lifestyle and if you enjoy it it’s not a job. The riding itself is what you love to do and enjoy and the planning is just tending to business.”

In 2016, Jeff won six pro rodeo titles including a Champion Challenge event in Kissimmee and his first CBR event title in Conroe, Texas and shares his success is from taking the bulls one at a time.

“I like them to keep me guessing,” said Askey about the three bulls he got on at Conroe.

He reiterated that sentiment to me regarding the 100 bulls selected for the ten day rodeo that begins on Dec 1.

“I don’t study bulls, I think it’s a preference deal, I go at it bull by bull and that seems to work for me,” said the Pennsylvania native now living in Athens, Texas.

Askey, the 5’8”, 155-pound twenty-eight year old bull rider won the College National Finals Rodeo bull riding in 2010 and holds an Animal Science degree from University of Tennessee at Martin.

The healthy pro cowboy vowed to never go to a performance at the NFR until he earned his way there as a contestant and next week he will enter the Thomas and Mack for the first time with a back number attached.

“I am healthy and working out and have been staying in shape by competing.”

He travels to the NFR for the first time with his girlfriend Avery and his Mom and Dad will be coming for the ten day competition.

Askey has this to say regarding all the advice he is receiving before his inauguraal NFR.

“Armchair coaching – you have to know what works for you and what your own mentality is and what is effective for you – take everything with a grain of salt and find your own path.”

 Professional 2016 Highlights

• Won the Justin Boots Playoffs (Puyallup, Wash.)

• Won the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots

• Won the Canby (Ore) Rodeo

• Won the Ft. Smith (Ark.) Division 2 Xtreme Bulls Invitational

• Won the Wrangler Champion Challenge presented by Justin Boots (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Won the Walker County Rodeo (Huntsville)