Jeff Askey’s passion for all things western didn’t start in the Western part of the United States. It started in Pennsylvania. His family is involved in the cattle industry and he rode some colts growing up. He had a neighbor down the road that competed in junior rodeos and when Jeff decided to tag along, he got on a bull. The neighbor’s dad had been a bull rider, so he had some coaching. From the very first time he got on, he knew that was what he wanted to do.
After high school rodeo, he got serious about improving his skills and getting more competitive. He moved to Durant, Oklahoma, to go to school. After two years there, he came back to Martin, Tennessee to further his education in and out of the arena.
Two year’s later, he and University of Tennessee- Martin rodeo coach John Luthi made their way on stage at the College National Finals Rodeo to get his championship awards. It was 2010 when he won the college title. The next year he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and finished in the top 100.
Each year he moved up into the standings, qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 2016 after having missed it by one place in 2015. He finished outside the top 15 last year and has made up for it this year. His biggest win of 2018 was at the Reno Rodeo where he got the coveted silver spurt awarded to all of their champions.
He is as healthy as he as ever been and ready to compete at his second NFR where he will start the competition in sixth place.
One on One with the Wrangler NFR Contestants – Jeff Askey
Favorite movie: It’s way to cliché, but I’ve got to go with anything with John Wayne in it. Really anything western, from The Cowboys to Lonesome Dove, I love everything western.
Favorite current TV show: The Yellowstone mini series had me pretty hooked this summer. Other than that, I don’t watch too much TV.
Dogs or cats: Definitely dogs.
Favorite dessert: Cookies, I’m a sucker for cookies. I can leave ice cream, cakes and pies alone, but get me near cookies and I’m probably going to eat all of them.
Favorite card or board game: I like playing rummy. Seems like we play with the family around the holidays. It can get pretty competitive if dad is playing – he is a rascal.
Favorite sport, other than rodeo: I don’t watch any sports on TV and don’t pay any attention to them.
If you weren’t in rodeo, what would you be doing: It’s hard to tell, but I’d definitely be doing something in the farm and ranch industry.
What food would refuse to eat: I’m dead set against beets.
Best childhood memory: I don’t really have just one, but we did a lot of camping and things outdoors. Where I grew up we had a lot of snow. We had a sleigh that we would hook up to horses and go for sleigh rides.
Favorite thing you like about Las Vegas: Seeing all the people that you don’t get to see anywhere else. I get to see people from college and from my childhood that come out to watch the NFR.
What do you do in your spare time: Little ranch work here and there. I go wake surfing any chance I get and hunt and fish. Anything outdoors.
What super power would you like to have: I guess I’d be invisible. That would make me a hell of a bank robber.
Best travel partner: Bayle Worden. He is the easiest person in the world to get along with. He can eat gas station food or go to a nice steak house. We can stay at a motel or throw a blanket down on someone’s floor. He doesn’t care what you do or when you do it as long as you’re going to a rodeo.
Famous figure you’d like to meet: I think Donald Trump is pretty cool.
Music: I listen to old country quite a bit, some Texas country a little bit of rock and once in a while some rap. But old country is pretty much where I stay.
What would people be surprised to learn about you: That I graduated from college with top honors. (He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee – Martin)
Best thing about riding bulls: Outside of the physical rush, the travel and getting to see new parts of the country. If I had an office job somewhere, I’d spend a lot of time in one place and never have the experiences I’ve had.
What bull is your dream bull to get on: I’ve been on Bruiser before. I sure would like the opportunity to get on him again.
What is the worst injury you’ve ever had: I was out for about six months after I broke my tibia, fibula and two bones in my foot. They did surgery, put a rod in my leg and a plate in my foot.
If you could live anywhere where would it be: Texas – I’m living there now. Grew up in Pennsylvania, moved to Oklahoma for junior college, then to Tennessee. I found my way to Texas and plan on staying here.
Facebook or Twitter – I prefer Instagram. There is less re-posting and I think it’s more positive. And, it’s simple.
Follow Jeff Askey on Instagram