Utah cowboy wows the crowd at Days of 47 Rodeo

PLAIN CITY, Utah -- A cowboy from Plain City is proving to be anything but ordinary as he makes a name for himself as one of the best tie-down ropers in the world.

Fans at the Days of 47 Rodeo were delighted to see J.C. Malone take second place on Tuesday, and for him - it was a highlight of his career.

Malone said he first learned tie-down roping in high school. He went on to win the high school state championship, and said he knew he wanted to turn it into a career.

"I have a passion and addiction for it," said Malone.

During rodeo season Malone spends his free time practicing the quick movements of catching a calf, then tying three of its legs with a rope in a several second span.

"It's more for your cowboys that are perfectionists," Malone said of the fast, fancy rope work.

Each year, Malone hops from one rodeo to the next, many offering cash prizes for the fastest roper.

"One day I'll have to sit down and count them, but I've been to a couple thousand rodeos," he said.

Over the years, he's moved up the ranks. In 2017, Malone said he qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for the first time.

"The top 15 competitors in each event qualify. It's big money," he explained. "That was a dream come true."

That put him in the category of top 15 best tie-down ropers in the world.

Tuesday, J.C. experienced another dream come true in his home state and in front of his family at the Days of 47 Rodeo.

He won the silver medal in Tie-Down Roping, and took home $25,000.

"I made the best run of my career," he said. "6.7 is as fast as I've been."

That's just two tenths of a second, he says, behind the world record of 6.5 seconds.

"It's just that feeling of greatness, when you worked so hard at something and everything pays off," said Malone.

Malone said he'll always remember this event as a highlight for his career.

Now, with 18-year old horse Lucy by his side, he's ready to keep conquering the arena.

Malone said he will compete in 50 rodeos between now and the end of September. He said he hopes to again qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.