When Jackie Crawford rode into the box in Round 5 of the inaugural National Finals of Breakaway Roping, she was on top of the world.
Crawford was leading the world and the average, and she had a day of breakaway that dreams are made of on Day 1. When she rode out of the arena after catching her fifth calf, according to the judges and the timers, as well as the arena announcers, she still was.
But when the round ended 20 minutes later, announcers clarified that Crawford in fact received a no-time in Round 5 and, when the day was over, she watched as her world standings lead and average lead slipped away.
And that all happened because Crawford approached the judges to give her a no-time on that Round 5 calf after she roped a back leg.
"I didn't want to go out there and dispute the judges, I mean that's their call," Crawford, 38, of Stephenville, Texas, said. "But at the same time, I knew that they had missed it, and you don't live with something like that and let it go. So I just got back around to the front and made sure I wasn't going to get in trouble by going out there, and I went and told them that I definitely had a back leg in it and they missed it, and that's just human error. I can't imagine having their job and trying to make those split-second decisions. It was nobody's fault except my own for roping a back leg, and they got it right. And now we have to figure out a different game plan."
(Editor's note: I couldn't help but think of this scene from The Legend of Bagger Vance when I heard what had happened to Jackie today. — Chelsea)
Crawford is now fifth in the average at 17.9 on seven head, and has $32,859.68 in earnings on the year. She's $178.32 behind season-long leader Cassie Bahe-Latham, who herself is sixth in the average. The top eight in the average move into a clean-slate Round of 8, and the top four in that round will go into a sudden-death finals, with the fastest time in that round receiving the largest check of the week and getting the edge in the world standings.
NFBR Semifinals/Finals Payout:
To be exceptionally clear, this is one set of checks, of which the bottom half will be paid out in the Round of 8, with the top half paying out in the Round of 4.
"I mean, I feel like I still need to do some figuring tonight," Crawford said. "I'm definitely going to still try to go for some rounds. If the shot presents itself, I'm going to take it. I had one calf today that I regret—the timing wasn't there, but I wish I'd have just taken the shot. The shots didn't present themselves as well to win money in the go-rounds today, but I'm definitely going to be pressing it tomorrow as long as I know I'm safe in the average." BRJ