Posted In: Customers
The Crawley Family Welcomes New Baby and Set Sights on National Finals Rodeo
Wheeler’s Western Outfitters Customer Spotlight
PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, Jacobs Crawley, and his wife, Lauren are featured in December’s Wheeler’s Western Outfitters Customer Spotlight. The Crawleys have had an exceptionally big year with the birth of their first child just last month, and more excitement is to come in the final days of 2017.
Jacobs and Lauren met for the first time at the Texas High School Rodeo State Finals in Abilene. Later, they became friends when they attended Texas A&M University, where they both competed on the Texas Aggie Rodeo Team. Lauren remembers watching him ride and thinking, “He rides everything, and he never gets bucked off.”
Two years after they graduated, Lauren decided to compete at some professional rodeos in barrel racing. During what rodeo contestants call the “summer run,” she went up North and ran into Jacobs at a PRCA rodeo in Oregon. Soon after, they had lunch in Casper, Wyoming, and according to Jacobs, “That was it.”
They were married in the summer of 2015, and Jacobs won his first World Championship title later that year. The newlyweds moved to Boerne to be closer to family and went to work fixing up their first home.
HILL COUNTRY LIVING
“I don’t know if I will ever move out of the hill country,” admits Jacobs. Loving the hill country life, they were quick to share some of their favorite eating places in Boerne. They can be regularly found at Bear Moon’s on Coffee Tuesday, at 259, eating an Axis Burger for lunch, or at Bumdoodler’s, eating Jacobs’ favorite, The Old Smokey. They also enjoy walking along the riverfront in town.
“The only store I go to besides HEB, is Wheeler’s Western Outfitters because they always have what I need for rodeo or hunting,” states Jacobs. Lauren says, “I love that they are family run, and they have the best customer service.” She laughs and says, “Really it is the only place we need to shop. They service my horse trailer, we buy our horse feed there, and they have really fashionable clothes. So, they kinda have it all.”
Having just visited, Jacobs said, “The last thing we bought there was baby jeans and Christmas presents, but if things go well for me at the NFR, I will be back to get a gun I have my eye on!”
THE NEWEST CRAWLEY COWBOY
Those baby jeans were for their baby boy, Corley Deane Crawley, who was born this past November 7th, weighing in at an impressive 9.5 pounds. Each parent bestowed a family name, which represents three generations of qualities that they hope manifest in their son. Jacobs quips, “I hope he can think like his dad, be outgoing like his uncle (Sterling Crawley), have the complexion of his other uncle (in hopes that he isn’t fair skinned like Jacobs), and be compassionate like his mom.” Both parents hope Corley is “passionate, healthy and thinks for himself,” but Jacobs laughingly added, “I also hope he has some patience because that is not a trait either of his parents have.”
With both parents so deeply rooted in the sport of rodeo, it is easy to imagine that Corley will probably ride a horse before he can walk. Jacobs has a promise for his son. “I will never shove something on him. If he likes something, I want to be right there ready to help, if he asks for it, but I don’t want to be a drill sergeant.” If Corley isn’t interested in rodeo, they want to find something else he likes and do that together. However, Jacobs looks over at his son and says, “I see your future buddy and you’re not going to be 6 ‘ 4,” so it will probably be baseball, rodeo or scholastics.”
Looking back on how Jacobs got his start, he smiled and said, “I don’t remember a time before I wasn’t riding a horse. I grew up in a very fun, playful environment going to youth rodeos. We were professional youth rodeoers.” His parents took Jacobs and his brother, Sterling, (also a professional rodeo saddle bronc rider) to multiple rodeos in a weekend. “My dad was an engineer in Garland, and he would get home at seven o’clock at night, and we would rope and ride until ten. Then, he would get up at four o’clock in the morning and do it all over again. It was crazy, but that is just what we did, and I want to do that for Corley.”
Surprisingly, Jacobs didn’t start out riding broncs, but he began by roping calves and riding bulls. He was first introduced to the discipline when he went to a rodeo school and discovered he had a knack for the event. He also realized that he would be sore after riding just one bull, but that he could get on seven bucking horses in a day without feeling the effects. In his first open rodeo, he got bucked off in two seconds, but he said, “I remember thinking,”This is exactly what I want to do.” After high school, he sold his calf horse, quit riding bulls and focused solely on saddle bronc.
2017 NFR GAME PLAN
A 7-time NFR qualifier in saddle bronc riding, Jacobs hopes to add one more World Championship title to his name at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas December 7 – 16. This year, he has a new game plan after reflecting on his 2016 NFR experience, where he lost the World Title by just $2,700, in the final round of competition. This might sound strange, but, “This year I am going in trying to win a world championship because I realized, after the fact, that last year I went in trying not to lose a World Championship.” He went on to explain that in 2016 he started the finals in the number one spot with a huge lead and rode with more of a preventative, defensive mindset.
Planning his 2017 offensive game, he says, “My plan is to do my job for 10 nights, and that means making the best and most aggressive bronc rides possible on the animals I have drawn. It all comes down to those 10 rounds.”
At 29 years of age, he is one of the oldest Saddle Bronc Rider competing, but once again finds himself at the top of the standings and anticipating which talented bucking horses he will draw. As the NFR Saddle Bronc Director (an honor bestowed upon him by fellow contestants), he has spent months making sure that only the best stock in the country will be at the Thomas and Mack
Center. He has his sights set on a horse named Killer Bee (a Butler and Son Rodeo horse). She has been the horse of the NFR for the past three years, and no cowboy has been able to complete a ride on her in Las Vegas. Jacobs rode her two summers ago and scored a massive 87 points. “I would love the opportunity to ride her the second round of the NFR and try to ‘bring down the house’ because she has the capability of doing it.”
A NEW BREED OF COWBOY
Losing isn’t something Jacobs is used to, in fact, he only “hits the dirt” (gets bucked off) three or four times a year. However, after a bad ride, Lauren says, “He has never been one to get mad or be unpleasant to be around.” Jacobs says he likes to keep things in perspective. “I mean, it’s just a bucking horse, and there is always another one to ride.”
He attributes his above average ride completion to how well he takes care of his own body, and he does not take any horse lightly. “I eat clean, work out daily, and stretch a lot before I get on a horse.” Lauren adds that the new generation of professional cowboys is more like professional athletes and less like the “drinking beer and smoking cigarettes” stereotypes of earlier decades. Jacobs even admits that he has incorporated yoga into his workout regimen, as it helps with his flexibility and balance, which is key for his event. “When I first started out, it was only the oddballs and weirdos that worked out and took care of themselves, but now with this younger generation, it is an eat clean, take care of your body kinda thing.”
The NFR will look a little different for the new parents who were actively planning how to manage Vegas with a newborn. Thanks to dedicated grandmothers, Lauren will have a lot of help and will be front and center to watch Jacobs each night.
Written by Holly DeLaune
Amanda Ward with Min To Be Photography