Making a trip to the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is something that every cowboy or cowgirl dream of from a very early age. The trip to the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas is nothing new for a select few that include a very well rounded team roping team that made their way there for the first time as a team last year. The team of Junior Nogueira and seven-time World Champion Jake Barnes have gotten quite used to the spotlight and the stress of ten straight days of action.
Making the trip across the pond to the United States was the best thing that Junior Nogueira decided to do in his career as a team roping cowboy. Once reaching the United States he began pairing up with legend Jake Barnes and they have been blazing a trail ever since. The 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was supposed to be the team’s second consecutive appearance after winning the Rookie of the Year honor in his first WNFR qualification.
That all changed in an instant just a few short hours ago as the team was practicing in preparation for this year’s trip to Sin City. While practicing a devastating turn of events unfolded that would land one of the team’s members in critical condition and would take away the chance for another trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for 2015. Although the accident is horrible there is some encouraging news coming out of the team’s camp this evening.
Yesterday Jake Barnes was in the middle of a practice run as his horse slipped and caused both of them to go down. Once his horse started to go down Jake fell off and ended up beneath of it. His horse ended up stepping right on his head causing a very scary and intense situation inside of the arena. Barnes suffered a traumatic head injury and was airlifted from the accident scene directly to the trauma center for evaluation. Along with the head injury he also sustained a severe broken ankle which will cause the team to withdraw from this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The news coming from Jake Barnes’ wife is that he is, in fact, alert and talking but still dealing with the swelling in his brain which may take days if not weeks to subside. There is still a very delicate road ahead of him as he continues his recovery and will need all of the support and prayers that the rodeo world has to offer. His wife thanks everyone for their concern and will keep everyone updated on the status of Jake as she can find time.
This is a very sad situation that has unfolded just five short days away from the start of the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The entire Rodeo Round Up team wish Jake Barnes and his family, friends and colleagues our deepest sympathies and will continue to monitor the situation. We will bring any updates that may be issued as they happen and hope to see this dynamic duo back in Las Vegas again in 2016!
** Update **
I have received a phone call from a Barnes’ family friend and have been told that a GoFundMe account has been set up for Jake with his family’s blessing. They have asked us to post a direct link to this account for folks to donate to if they wish. I have made sure that the blessing was given prior to announcing this update regarding the GoFundMe page that has been set up as well. If you wish to help out Jake and his family during this time of need you can do it directly through the page that has been set up by simply clicking here.
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