Rodeo: Corkill off to hot 3-year start |

Rodeo: Corkill off to hot 3-year start

Darrell Moody

RENO ‹ From a three-time high school champion to 2006 PRCA Rookie of the

year to second in the world in three years.

Not bad Jade Corkill.

The 21-year-old team roper from Fallon has made a name for himself since

turning pro at the ripe age of 18, winning more than a quarter of a million


The high point in his young career came last year when he finished second in

the world after placing third overall at the National Finals Rodeo in Las

Vegas, placing in seven of the 10 rounds and winning more than $80,000 in

the 10-day event.

³One step away,² Corkill said after he and partner Chad Masters posted a

two-ride total of 10.7 to move into first place at the 90th annual Reno


³That¹s (finishing second) is as good as it gets. I¹m trying to get to the

top this year.²

What¹s amazing about Corkill¹s year is that he went through two partners ‹

Masters and Luke Brown. Corkill performed at the NFR with Brown, while

Masters hooked up with Michael Jones.

Neither rider volunteered much about the break-up. There doesn¹t appear to

be any hard feelings on the part of either rider as evidenced by the fact

they are working together again.

³This is a business,² Corkill said. ³You do business with people you think

you will have the most success with. It didn¹t affect me mentally. I just

tried to concentrate on doing my job out there. I had my job to do.²

³I enjoyed last year,² Masters said. ³Jade acts a lot older than he is. He¹s

amazing. For a guy that just turned 21 and to be that good. He works hard at


Since Masters and Corkill got together again in March, they have been on a

good roll. They won best average at Clovis and Livermore and cashed checks

at Logandale, Oakley, Red Bluff, Redding and Sisters (Oregon). The duo

finished second in Logandale.

Their 10.7 here is 1.1 seconds ahead of the field. It¹s a far cry from last

year when Corkill never got a chance to throw his rope, as Masters missed

both times. That¹s probably the most frustrating part of being a heeler. In

team roping, a heeler can¹t attempt to rope the animal until the header has

the animal engaged and has turned him.

Masters didn¹t come right out and say it, but he implied that that Corkill

is a natural, and it would be hard to disagree with him. Ever since he

started roping things in the family living room not long after he learned to

walk, you knew that Corkill was the real deal.

He was home schooled, and he admits that probably gave him an advantage over

his peers.

³Maybe some,² Corkill said. ³It gave me a chance to practice all day,

everyday. I did have to do my schoolwork, but I was able to do it at my own


Unlike many of his fellow competitors, Corkill opted to turn pro at 18

instead of taking a college scholarship, and he had plenty of opportunities

for one after winning titles in calf roping and team roping his first three

years in high school competition.

³I was making enough money so I didn¹t have to,² Corkill said. ³I was making

enough money, so I saw no reason to stop (and go to school).²

And to make the money Corkill has in such a short time, it¹s impossible to

argue that he made a mistake skipping school.