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Will Smith scores Sikeston victory

SIKESTON, Mo. – Saddle bronc rider Will Smith was psyched to win the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, as he nailed an 85.5-point ride on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Spade on Saturday, good for a $4,385 boost for both the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings as well as the RAM Great Lakes Circuit Standings.

“I’d been on that horse four or five times and I used to be scared of him because he bucked me off harder than most," Smith said, adding that he finally made a successful ride on Spade a couple of years ago at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

“I got more confidence on him this time,” the 28-year-old cowboy said. “That horse is scary in the chute – sometimes he’ll rear at the post, but then he just jumps and kicks down the pen and he’s the one you want to have. I was telling my travel partner, Hardy Braden, that I’d take some Spade, and he called the next day and said, ‘you got him’ and I was excited.”

Before winning Sikeston, the South Carolina-native-turned-Missouri cowboy was 10th in the Great Lakes Circuit with $3,670 – not too far behind the current leader, Wade Sundell’s $8,659. 

“I’ve been coming here since 2009 and had never won it, and it’s exciting. My friend Ty Atchison always wore the buckle from it,” Smith said.

Smith was 50th in the world standings before winning Sikeston thanks to picking up $8,960 for placing second in the average at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver on Jan. 22; then $2,285 for placing second at the Heart of the North rodeo in Spooner, Wis., on July 8.  

Sikeston marks Smith’s second win of the 2017 season, having split the win with Ross Griffin at the 41st Annual Isanti (Minn.) Firefighters Rodeo on July 8. 

“The Fourth went all right – I got $5,000, and that’s good for me,” Smith said.

The 2017 season has been a difficult one outside of the arena for Smith as his grandfather fell ill and then passed away recently. Smith had taken some time off from rodeoing to spend time with him and his family. The Sikeston rodeo was his first time competing since then. 

“I’m going to get my circuit count in and get set up for next year so I can get to those big indoor rodeos,” Smith said, adding that he’s aiming for a shot at the San Antonio rodeo. 

“I’m going to circuit bust and just stay here in the Great Lakes and try to beat that old boy Sundell in the circuit,” Smith said.

Other winners at the  $157,152 rodeo were all-around cowboy Ryle Smith ($3,465 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Clayton Biglow (87 points on Pickett Rodeo’s First Place), steer wrestler Sean Mulligan (8.9 seconds on two head), team ropers Jacob Dragenhart/Zack Mabry (10.7 seconds on two head), tie-down ropers Cade Swore and Cimarron Boardman (16.4 seconds on two head each), barrel racer Lacinda Rose (16.27 seconds), and bull rider Clayton Fulton (87 points on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s News Flash). 

For more coverage of the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, check out the Sept. 1 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.
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