By Keith Ryan Cartwright | Jul 09, 2012 @ 03:00 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas - L.J. Jenkins is among 11
bull riders arriving in Canada today for the start of the Pool B
competition tomorrow at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary
Jenkins will join the likes of Robson Palermo,
Renato Nunes, Kody Lostroh and
others, as follow-up to a strong showing from the Pool A riders,
led by Austin Meier. The Top 4 from each pool, as
well as two wild cards, will advance to Sunday's final two rounds.
The wild card round will take place on Saturday.
Although he's focused on winning the $100,000 payout, Jenkins'
ultimate focus is on the $1 million bonus PBR awards to the World
Champion in October.
"I'm just having fun again and trying to take it one week at a
time," Jenkins said. "My goal every week is to be in the Top 10. I
strive on that."
From mid-March to mid-May, he experienced the most prolific two
months of his entire Built Ford Tough Series career.
He's recorded eight consecutive Top 10 finishes - one shy of the
record set by Ednei Caminhas in 2002 - including an event win in
Jenkins could tie the record when the BFTS resumes in Tulsa,
Okla., on Aug. 10-11, and break the record a week later in San
"That's great," he said. "I want to try and get as many Top 10s
as I can.
"Usually, I don't ride very good during the first part, and I
start warming up during the end of the year. Luckily, I've been
real consistent during the (past) 10 events and kind of made a run
at it. I feel very confident."
He's second in the world standings behind Valdiron de
Oliveira, who holds a 632-point advantage.
Jenkins has covered a career-high 55.74 percent of his bulls,
and in the past 10 events he's ridden 26 of 40 (65 percent).
"It comes down to consistency," he said. "Every time you stay on
a bull, it counts. Whether you're 70 or 80, it's going to count.
Every time you can get a score on the board, it helps."
One big difference between this year and previous seasons is
that Jenkins has noticeably pared down his schedule.
Unlike a year ago, when he was focused on qualifying for the
World Finals and the National Finals Rodeo, he spent the early part
of the 2012 season only competing at BFTS events. This summer, for
the most part, he's stayed home.
He's been on what he called a "cow-buying spree," and also
bought another 305 acres of land to go with the 240 acres he
already owned outside Porum, Okla.
"I've kind of smartened up. You can't win every
weekend on this BFTS, so I made a goal of being a Top 10 guy every
A week after the Pueblo, Colo., event, he rode in Decatur,
Texas, and since then has focused on his Oklahoma ranch. This week,
he'll compete in Calgary and he said he's considering competing at
the rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyo., but otherwise, he has been giving
himself some much-needed rest.
"That road takes a toll on people," he said. "I think it started
showing toward the end of the year, and the first of the year. I
got tired. I was just worn out and I quit going to my rodeos
earlier this year. I'm just a totally different person. I'm rested
every week that I come here. I think that'll be a big deal at the
This is the best position he's been in to win the world title
this late in the season.
Instead, having to come from outside of the Top 10, this year,
he's already inside the Top 5 and considered a legitimate
Last year, he said, by the time October came around he was
tired. Afterward, he took a step back and looked at the other top
contenders - most of whom are Brazilians - and said they weren't
going to rodeos, and therefore, were not nearly as worn down as the
Part of his newfound decision-making process is the fact that at
24 years old, he's maturing as a professional athlete
"Oh, definitely," he agreed. "I was a kid and I was wanting to
go out and win every weekend. Well, I've kind of smartened up. You
can't win every weekend on this Built Ford Tough Series, so I made
a goal of being a Top 10 guy every single week, and you can do