Smith, Corkill Rope Dodge Lead

Clay Smith, right, ropes his steer as his partner, heeler Jade Corkill, moves into position to stop the clock in 5.2 seconds. The tandem owns the team roping lead with two nights of preliminary competition remaining at this year’s Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Jade Corkill and Clay Smith each own multiple gold buckles, but they’ve never won them together.

They have a fighting chance this year, and they’re in position to snatch their first Dodge City Roundup Rodeo buckles, too. The tandem roped two steers Thursday in a cumulative time of 10.3 seconds to take the overall team roping lead. They will return to Sunday’s championship round with hopes of claiming those elusive Roundup trophies.

“Any time you can do good, it’s good,” said Corkill, an 11-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in heeling who won his world championships in 2012-’14. “This is pretty important. Other than Cheyenne (Wyoming) the other day, we haven’t done as good as we’ve wanted to. Any time these rodeos have three head like this are the kind we like.”

Roundup features a back-to-back format. All contestants in the timed events will make their first runs each morning, Wednesday-Saturday. The top 10 times from the first round will advance to the nightly performances. Smith and Corkill have the second fastest first-round run through two days of competition. They were 5.2 seconds Thursday night to secure the top spot in the two-run aggregate by half a second over the field.

They will await the outcome of the final two nights of preliminary rounds to see where they fit into Sunday’s short round.

“Every bit of it helps before the NFR,” said Smith, a six-time NFR qualifying header who won his world titles in 2018-19. “It seems like every year it’s going to come down to the 10th steer (at the NFR) and a few thousand dollars. This rodeo pays really good with two head and a short round. We love this kind of format with more chances to win money.

“In the short round, you do your job, and you’re going to win something pretty good. This is a special rodeo with cool buckles. We love this rodeo.”

Their success comes with a common bond: They both love to win, and they approach the game in a similar manner. It takes a good header to control a steer to help the heeler secure two legs in the loop, and some heelers can do magical things with just about any steer.

“We’re pretty much on the same page most of the time,” Corkill said, referring to the team’s approach to their second-round run. “There are two days left after today, so you know it’s probably going to get tough. We don’t want to take a no-time, but we don’t want to take extra time either. We jus try to be pretty aggressive and catch as fast as you can without missing.”

It definitely helps to do at a rodeo like Roundup, which offers the largest purse of any rodeos in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region known as the Prairie Circuit.

“It’s the biggest of the circuit rodeos for me when I was in the Prairie Circuit,” said Smith, originally from Broken Bow, Oklahoma, but now living near Stephenville, Texas; that’s where Corkill lives, too, though he still claims his hometown of Fallon, Nevada. “It was always an important rodeo, and I don’t know if I ever did very good when I was in the circuit. Now that I’m not, it’s been pretty good to me.”

Yes, it has.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 4-8

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Leighton Berry, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Short Night; 2. Richmond Champion, 88.5; 3. (tie) Mason Clements and Tilden, 88; 5. Chad Rutherford, 87; 6. Caleb Bennett, 86.5; 7. (tie) Nate McFadden and Trenten Montero, 84.5; 9. Taylor Broussard, 83.5; 10. Garrett Shadbolt, 83.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Stetson Jorgensen, 3.8 seconds; 2. Payden McIntyre, 3.9; 3. Ty Erickson, 4.1; 4. (tie) Don Payne, Cade Staton and Grayson Allred, 4.4; 7. Aaron Vosler, 4.3; 8. (tie) Justin Shaffer, Tucker Allen, Dalton Massey and Bridger Anderson, 4.4. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Blake Knowles and Dirk Tavenner, 3.4 seconds; 3. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Stockton Graves, 3.6; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 3.7; 6. (tie) Tucker Allen and Clayton Hass, 3.9; 8. Don Payne, 4.1; 9. Mike McGinn, 4.2; 10. (tie) Ringo Robinson, Stetson Jorgensen and Tucker Alberts, 4.5; 8. Justin Shaffer 4.9; 9. Eli Lord, 5.1; 10. Aaron Vosler, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Tucker Allen, Stetson Jorgensen and Don Payne, 8.3 seconds on two runs; 4. Clayton Hass, 8.8; 5. Tucker Alberts; 6. Blake Knowles, 9.1; 7. Justin Shaffer, 9.3; 8. (tie) Ringo Robinson and Stockton Graves, 9.4; 10. Rowdy Parrott, 9.6.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Tanner Green/Clay Futrell, 4.4 seconds; 2. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 5.1; 3. Cooper Bruce/Reed Lewis Boos, 5.3; 4. Dalton Turner/Garrett Smith, 4.7; 5. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 5.9; 6. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 6.0; 76. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 6.0; 8. J.B. James Jr./Brock Hanson, 6.2; 9. Curry Kirchner/Austin Rogers, 6.4; 10. Miles Baker/Zack Woods, 6.6. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Aaron Macy/Jason Johe and Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 4.5 seconds; 3. Levi Simpson/Tyler Worley, 4.6; 4. (tie) Luke Brown/Hunter Koch and Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 4.7; 6. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 4.9; 7. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 5.2; 8. Dalton Turner/Garrett Smith, 5.6; 9. Miles Baker/Zack Woods, 6.4; 10. Tanner Green/Clay Futrell, 8.4. Average leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 10.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 10.8; 3. Dalton Turner/Garret Smith, 11.3; 4. Tanner Green/Clay Futrell, 12.8; 5. Miles Baker/Zack Woods, 13.0; 6. Aaron Macy/Jason Johe, 17.1; 7. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 19.8; 8. Pedro Egurrola/J.C. Flake, 31.6; 9. Levi Simpson/Tyler Worley10. (tie) Luke Brown/Hunter Koch and Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 4.7 seconds on one run.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Lefty Holman, 86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Tip Off; 2. (tie) K’s Thomson, Mitch Pollock and Jake Finlay, on Frontier Rodeo’s Push Pop, 84 points; 5. (tie) Kole Ashbacher and Brody Cress, 83; 7. Ben Andersen, 81.5; 8. Wyatt Hageman, 81; 9. Tegan Smith, 80.5; 10. Logan Cook, 79.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Paden Bray, 8.9 seconds; 2. Riley Pruitt, 9.2; 3. Tyler Prcin, 9.3; 4. Kincade Henry, 9.4; 5. (tie) Taylor Santos, John Douch and Marcos Costa, 10.3; 8. Ty Kirby, 10.4; 9. (tie) Trent McDonald and Corey Renn Larsen, 10.6. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Blane Cox and Sherman Lasker, 8.1; 3. Shane Hanchey, 8.3; 4. Zack Jongbloed, 8.4; 5. (tie) Tyler Prcin and Rhen Richard, 8.8; 7. Beau Cooper, 9.0; 8. Wyatt Muggli, 9.1; 9. Caleb Smidt; 10. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Quade Hiatt, 9.9. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Prcin, 18.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Riley Pruitt, 18.1; 3. Paden Bray, 19.2; 4. Zack Jongbloed, 19.6; 5. Zach Jongbloed, 19.6; 6. Taylor Santos, 20.3; 7. Quade Hiatt, 21.5; 8. Marcos Costa, 21.6; 9. Shane Hanchey, 25.0; 10. Brody Stallard, 26.9.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Stevi Hillman, 16.92; 2. BryAnna Haluptzok, 17.26; 3. Cheyenne Wimberley, 17.38; 4. (tie) Jill Wilson and Jackie Ganter, 17.41; 6. Jessica Routier, 17.42; 7. Jessi Fish, 17.44; 8. Sidney Forrest, 17.45; 9. Nellie Miller, 17.49; 10. Keyla Polizello Costa, 17.53. Second round leaders: 1. Stevi Hillman, 17.08 seconds; 2. Jessica Routier, 17.19; 3. Michelle Darling, 17.25; 4. Katie Pascoe, 17.32; 5. Ericka nelson, 17.35; 6. Cheyenne Wimberley, 17.40; 7. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 17.41; 8. (tie) Ari-Anna Flynn, Keyla Polizello Costa and Nellie Miller, 17.42. Average leaders: 1. Stevi Hillman, 34.00 seconds on two runs; 2. Jessica Routier, 34.61; 3. Cheyenne Wimberley, 34.78; 4. BryAnna Halputzok, 34.85; 5. Katie Pascoe, 34.89; 6. Nellie Miller, 34.91; 7. Keyla Polizello Costa, 34.95; 8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 35.00; 9. Ericka Nelson, 35.06; 10. Jackie Ganter.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Dustin Boquet, 86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Lookin’ Up; 2. Eli Vastbinder, 84.5; 3. (tie) Bubba Greig and Ky Hamilton, 82; 5. Fulton Rutland, 78; 6. Braden Richardson, 77.5; no other qualified rides.

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