Listen to Riley Webb talk, and it can raise eyebrows. He sounds young, but he competes like a veteran. He qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as a rookie last season. Still a teenager, Webb continued his meteoric rise in the sport, winning the tie-down roping championship at RodeoHouston on Sunday.
Webb, 19, walked away with one of the biggest purses in a ProRodeo, pocketing $50,000 with a 8.9 second-run in the Championship Shootout and nearly $10,000 for his steady round runs to reach the finals.
As he enjoyed dinner with his mom and grandma in Houston, Webb revealed why he’s enjoying success. Nothing seems to bother him – not a packed arena of screaming fans or a reporter asking questions as knives and forks click off plates around him.
“It’s pretty cool,” Webb said. “I had my aunt and uncle there (for one round), then my mom and grandma there tonight. It was special.”
That it ended up this way is a testament to Webb’s approach. The stage is never too big. He won’t let it be with his narrow focus and even-keel demeanor.
“You just have to do your job (even in the championship shootout round). When you have a good calf, it’s about making no mistakes and win what you can win. It’s about not trying to do too much, just doing what you can,” Webb said.
Webb entered the finals with confidence. He placed in every round, including a 9.0- second time in his first RodeoHouston run, posting a win.
“To make that first run like that really helped,” said Webb, who placed 10th in the world last season, earning $188,597.
Webb, who hails from Denton, Texas, kept piling up strong performances, finishing third and fourth in subsequent runs before notching a second-place finish in the semifinal qualifier. It set the stage for the biggest win of his career as he bested Hunter Herrin (9.6, $20,000) and Reese Riemer (15.4, $10,000).
“I had a good feeling going into it,” Webb said. “It was cool.”
Other winners at the $1,950,030 rodeo were bareback rider Leighton Berry (90 points on Calgary Stampede’s Yippee Kibitz); steer wrestler Dalton Massey (4.5 seconds); team ropers Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler (5.5 seconds); saddle bronc rider Sage Newman (90 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Womanizer); breakaway roper Hali Williams (3.6 seconds); barrel racer Jordon Briggs (14.73 seconds); and bull rider Ky Hamilton (90.5 points on The Cervi Brothers’ Dim Tricks).
Courtesy of PRCA