By Susan Kanode/for the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Clay and Jake Smith from Broken Bow, Okla., were literally born to rope. Named after the legendary Clay O’Brien Cooper and Jake Barnes (who won seven world titles together), the youngsters started their journey toward fame when they roped on the Jay Leno Tonight Show when they were 7 and 5.
That was sixteen years ago and now they are competing on the sport’s biggest stage of the regular season at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo. With Clay doing the heading and Jake heeling, they stopped the clock in 4.8 seconds on Feb. 12 in the AT&T Center. This earned them a first place check of $1,955 in the second round of bracket three. They also placed fourth in the first round so they are second in the earnings standings with $2,444 and are nearly assured a spot in the semifinals.
Last year was their rookie year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and one of their goals was to earn enough money to be among the qualifiers for San Antonio’s $1,269,235 rodeo. Former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Coleman Proctor from Pryor, Okla., and Jake Long from Coffeyville, Kan., lead the team roping earnings category with $2,933. Third place is being held by reigning world champions Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., with $1,955.
Caleb Smidt, last year’s tie-down rookie of the year is leading the earnings standings in that event with $2,933. The Bellville, Texas, cowboy won the first round, then placed third on Feb. 12. He is coming off his first Wrangler NFR qualification and appears set to go back.
The 2010 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association all-around champion cowboy is 12th in the PRCA world standings. A big win here would move him up in those standings and put him on pace to travel back to Las Vegas next December to compete at rodeo’s championship event. Timber Moore, who also competed in Las Vegas last December finished atop the second round leader board with an 8.3 second run.
The ninth performance is the third round of bracket 3 and will determine semifinals qualifiers. Competition starts at 7 p.m. (CT) Feb. 13.
Courtesy of PRCA