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Oregon Ropers take Lead at RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo

Hayes Smith of Central Point, roping with Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne (not shown), took the team roping lead at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo with a time of 4.7 seconds Thursday. Photo by Ric Anderson.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (April 6, 2017) – Oregon cowboys Hayes Smith of Central Point and Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne took the lead in the team roping at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo when they clocked a time of 4.7 seconds.

Smith, 23, drove 50 hours to make his first appearance at the event but the veteran Cardoza, a former national circuit finals champion, was not concerned about his partner handling the pressure. “He’s young enough, nothing really bothers him,” said Cardoza.

The first round here will be completed at the second performance Friday night, but the Oregon duo are in good position to win part of the prize money. They will compete again on Saturday night in the second round. Twenty-six teams are competing here. The eight with the fastest total times on the two rounds will advance to Sunday’s semifinals.

At stake are national championships and $1 million in cash and prizes. For the first time, the money that is earned at the RNCFR counts in the world standings for the sanctioning organizations, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.