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Riggin Smith following family success with Belle Fourche win

by JOLEE JORDAN | Jul 04, 2020

Special to ProRodeo.com



Saddle bronc riding is in the blood for Winterset, Iowa, cowboy Riggin Smith.

“My grandpa, my dad, my uncles, my cousins . . . it’s just kind of a thing we do,” laughed Smith, who noted his dad also rode barebacks, hence his name Riggin. “And we’ve all tried everything, but for some reason, we all end up bronc riders.”

But Smith didn’t fall in love with his family’s sport immediately.

“I didn’t really like it until college,” he said. “I really thought I wanted to be a bull rider.”

The reigning college national champion saddle bronc rider won’t be regretting his career change any time soon, particularly after picking up a big win during the lucrative Cowboy Christmas Fourth of July run at the 101st Black Hills Round-Up in Belle Fourche, S.D., on July 4.

The stop at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame event was the third of four for Smith and hauling partners PRCA standings leader Wyatt Casper and Lefty Holman.

“We started at Prescott, then did Oakley, Belle Fourche and Cody,” he said. “It was pretty easy.”

The only challenge, in fact, was getting from Belle Fourche to Cody. The trio hit a deer on the road and were rescued by PRCA and WPRA world champions Byron and Mary Walker.

“It was quite an ordeal of a day,” said Smith after finishing just out of the money in Cody on the Fourth of July. “We were actually headed to Buffalo to golf . . . we like to golf.”

Smith will be able to help with his share of the repair bill thanks to the big win in Belle Fourche. He notched an 88.5-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Valley, a horse he’d seen via video.

“I’d seen videos of guys getting thrown off her,” Smith said “But they all said she’s a bucker but if a guy can stay down on her, you can be a bunch of points. She was the one I was most looking forward to getting on this week.”

Miss Valley did not disappoint.

“It was awesome. I could tell she was really bucking but she had so much timing, all I could do was smile on her,” Smith said. “I told my hauling buddies I’d get on her every day if they’d let me.”

Smith picked up $5,725, about the amount he trailed Lane Schuelke by in the 2020 PRCA | Resistol Rookie of the Year standings. Smith entered the Fourth of July run 35th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings.

“We’re going to enter everything under the sun,” laughed Smith of his group’s plans for the COVID-19 shortened season. “My goals are to ride as good as I can on every horse. I have goals in mind – I want to make the Finals (Wrangler National Finals Rodeo) and win the Rookie – but I figure if I focus on riding every horse as good as I can, that stuff will shape out the way it’s supposed to.”

Steer roper Landon McClaugherty broke the arena record for a go round in Belle Fourche (which was first broken in the second round by Vin Fisher Jr.) when he won the third go round with 8.7 seconds. J. Tom Fisher set a record for the average, besting the old mark by a full second with 32.2 seconds on three head.

Other winners at the $220,395 rodeo were all-around cowboy Tuf Cooper ($4,700, tie-down roping and steer roping); bareback rider Kaycee Feild (90.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Two Buck Chuck); steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack (3.4 seconds); team ropers Levi Simpson and Shay Dixon Carroll (4.5 seconds); tie-down roper Cooper Martin (7.7 seconds); steer roper J. Tom Fisher (32.2 seconds on three head); barrel racer Lisa Lockhart (16.94 seconds); and bull rider Garrett Smith (89.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Bear Claw).

 





 
 
 
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