December 5-14, 2024


J.D. Struxness

Dec 13, 2023

J.D. Struxness

By Patrick Everson

Celebrating and congratulating have come a long way over the past, oh, 50 years or so. First, there was the Gimme Five, or if it was recognizing something really good, Gimme 10. Then came the High Five. Then came all manner of scripted handshakes – which are still in play – and the elbow bump.

COVID made the fist bump much more popular, and that reaction remains quite acceptable.

J.D. Struxness during an interview after Round 5 of the 2023 Wrangler NFR. | Photo By Patrick Everson

But steer wrestlers – as tight a bunch as there is in rodeo – think the old standby Gimme 10 is just fine. No reason to buck tradition. So it is that every night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, when a bulldogger does well, bunches of Gimme 10s are exchanged behind the chute.

“I’m sure in the ‘70s is when it got started, and it just got passed along. It’s just something we’ve always done,” J.D. Struxness said Tuesday night after his blazing 3.3-second effort won the fifth go-round. “Steer wrestlers are a tight-knit group. Whenever somebody has a good run, everybody gets excited.

“If you made a good run on what you had, we’re fired up for you.”

Through five nights, nobody has made a better run than Struxness’ Tuesday night time. And with the $30,706 check, Struxness is certainly in the mix for a gold buckle. He’s second in the world standings at $211,144, little more than a go-round win behind Dalton Massey ($246,353).

“We knew that steer was good coming into tonight, and the horse I’m riding has been working great all week,” Struxness said, before recounting his speedy run. “You have a pretty good idea when you’re fast. I knew I caught up to the steer fast tonight. But you’ve gotta get up and look to see just how fast.

“When I saw 3.3, that got my blood flowing. That was an electric run.”

Struxness just hopes to keep those high-voltage go-rounds going. He’s in as good a position as ever to make a world championship run. The five-time NFR qualifier finished seventh in the world in 2022, and his best season-ending finish was fourth in 2016.