Smith Back on Track for Xtreme Bulls Title Defense

Andrew Bowers (left) and Larry Howard present Tyler Smith with the championship buckle he earned for winning the Feb. 16 Seminole Classic Xtreme Bulls Tour event in Okeechobee, Fla. Smith scored 175 points on two head to gain momentum in his quest to defend his Tour championship.By Tracy Renck/for ProRodeo.comOKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Tyler Smith’s winter rodeo run received a big jolt Feb. 16.

The Fruita, Colo., cowboy scored 175 points on two head to capture the win at the Seminole Classic Xtreme Bulls Tour Division I event as he endeavors to repeat as Tour champion.

In the first round, Smith scored 85 points on 4L &Diamond S Rodeo’s Blurred Lines. He then followed that up with a 90-point ride on Universal Rodeo’s Slip Clutch in the finals.

“I don’t come down here a whole lot, so I didn’t know very many of the bulls, and I had never ridden the two bulls I rode (Sunday),” Smith, 26, said moments after walking out of Fred Smith Arena. “This win feels great. It has kind of been a slow start to the year so far for me, but if I could’ve picked a place to turn it around, it would’ve been here at the Xtreme Bulls.”

Smith was in 11th in the Feb. 10 Xtreme Bull standings with $4,207.

Heading into the short round Sunday, Smith was relaxed.

“I wasn’t nervous or anything like that at all,” Smith said. “I’ve been on the road so much the last couple of days, I treated this just like another day. I also haven’t slept at all the last couple of days, but no sleep was worth it for sure to win (Sunday).”

Having Xtreme Bulls success is nothing new for Smith. A year ago, Smith won his inaugural Xtreme Bulls season-long championship with $41,813.

“I don’t feel like I have any pressure on me,” Smith said about being the reigning Xtreme Bulls Tour champion. “The only pressure I have is paying the bills that come in the mail.”

In addition to being the 2013 Xtreme Bulls Tour champ, Smith also finished a career-best third in the PRCA’s final standings with $156,277.

“I wanted to stay healthy at the beginning of this year (2014), so I didn’t go to any rodeos after the NFR (Dec. 5-14) until the Fort Worth Xtreme Bulls (Division 2) event (Jan. 21-22). When you get on as many bulls as we do, you’re going to get banged up. I stayed pretty much healthy all of last year and that’s why I had a pretty good year.”

This season, Smith wants to defend his Xtreme Bulls Tour title – and more importantly he has his eyes set on winning a coveted gold buckle.

“It would be great if I could win the Xtreme Bulls season title again because the Xtreme Bulls pays so much, and you don’t have to go to as many rodeos,” Smith said. “The gold buckle is the buckle everybody chases. That’s why everybody rodeos, they want that gold buckle. It’s the most prestigious buckle in the world. I don’t think you can be satisfied until you get it.”