2019 PRCA Media Guide - 2018 World Champions

Tie-down Roping

Caleb Smidt Smidt captures second title with consistency

Cowboys like Shane Hanchey,Tuf Cooper,Tyson Durfey and Trevor Brazile were prominent in the conversationwhen talking about the potential 2018 PRCA Tie-down Roping World Champion. Caleb Smidt, the 2015 Tie-down RopingWorld Champion, flew under the radar. But following Round 10 at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Bellville, Texas, cowboy was basking in the spotlight with the gold buckle. “This is awesome,” Smidt said. Smidt earned $232,817 to finish atop the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings. Cooper placed second with $205,268, while Brazile was third with $194,297. Smidt entered theWrangler NFR in eighth place, but zoomed past all his competitors, thanks to winning $142,846 in Las Vegas, the most of any tie-down roper. A large chunk of Smidt’s Vegas winnings – $67,269 – came from winning the average, which he also won in 2015.

“It has been a few years, but this one means a lot more to me than the first one,”he said.“The first one I was young, and I was just roping. (In 2018) I came out here to rope and do it for my family. To have another world championship and average championship is awesome.” Smidt won the average with an 83.7-second time on 10-head. He did that with consistent performances night in and night out. He placed in six rounds and won Round 1 with a 7.6-second run. This was Smidt’s fifth trip to the Wrangler NFR (2013, 2015-18) since he joined the PRCA in 2012. All the pressure to win a world championship was on Smidt in Round 10. A no-time would cost him both buckles. If he stopped the clock in 12.8 seconds or better, he could win the average, and he did it with an 8.1-second effort, splitting sixth place in the final round. “I wanted to do the same thing I’ve been doing all week,” Smidt said. “I got good starts and drew

some really good calves. I’m just glad to be right here right now.” Smidt was quick to credit his horse, Pockets, for fueling his success. “Pockets is 11 years old, and I’ve had him for four years,” he said. “I won the world on him in 2015. He’s awesome. I didn’t ride him all summer. I rode a couple calves on himbefore I came out here (to the Wrangler NFR). He made it easy enough for me, and now we’ve got two gold buckles.” Cooper praised Smidt for his ability. “Caleb is an amazing roper, and he did such a great job,” he said. “It has been a rough year for him. He’s overcome adversity, and he and his family have known what to focus on, which is the Lord.” – Tracy Renck

PRCA ProRodeo photo by James Phifer

Smidt entered the Wrangler NFR in eighth place, but zoomed past his competition after winning $142,846, the most of any tie-down roper.



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