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Permit-holder Smith wins RAM Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo

by Matt Naber | Nov 10, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Just like the Louisville Sluggers made nearby, permit-holder Tegan Smith hit a home run by winning the RAM Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 10. 

“I’m speechless, this is the coolest thing I’ve done,” Smith said. “I can’t thank everyone and anyone enough for helping this happen.” 

Smith won the RAM GLCFR with 243 points on three head.

Although the Winterset, Iowa, cowboy hasn’t officially started his rookie year, the $6,188 payday at the RAM GLCFR set a solid foundation for what Smith, 20, hopes will be a solid bronc riding career that eventually takes him to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

“It’s a career high for sure, and it really makes you want to make it a career as a saddle bronc rider and make it to the big stage where you’re winning a bunch at the NFR,” Smith said. “It would be cool to be a bronc rider for a living.” 

He won’t have to wait too long as he’ll be getting a taste of the Las Vegas action at the 2018 Permit Members of the Year Challenge, Dec. 6. 

In the meantime, the Hawkeye State cowboy will be getting plenty of help practicing while on the Clarendon (Texas) Community College rodeo team. 

Smith ranked second in the 2018 PRCA | RAM Rodeo Permit Standings with $15,503 and finished the regular season third in the 2018 Great Lakes Circuit Standings for saddle bronc riding with $9,297.

“I travel with Logan Allen, and he really helps,” Smith said. “He’s been here and done it multiple times, and he’ll tell you to go bronc for bronc, go for it and do your best.”

Watching fellow permit-holder Jesse Pope tie with reigning world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell earlier in the night made Smith want to win the RAM GLCFR even more, Smith said. 

“I just took it bronc for bronc and did my best in every round and let the cards fall how they wanted, and they fell the right way,” Smith said. “I knew they (the broncs) were all pretty good in every round, and if I did my part it would go good.”  

Smith’s Louisville run was highlighted by winning the final round with an 84-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Boot Legger. But his position at the top of the average wasn’t set in stone since he had to wait for Allen’s re-ride. Ultimately, Smith came out ahead.

“There was a lot of anticipation waiting to see how he did,” Smith said. “I couldn’t believe it. I’d set it as a goal when I came here to have it happen. It’s really awesome.”    

His Louisville win also grants him a qualification to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., in March. 

“It means a lot, I’m at a loss for words, I guess,” Smith said. “I’m starting my rookie year this year, and to start it off with that is really cool.

“It’s awesome, this being the finals and going out with a bang and starting the new year on a good start sets it up for the next year to keep rockin’ and rollin’.”   

Other winners of the $201,868 rodeo were all-around cowboy Chance Oftedahl ($8,438, tie-down roping and team roping; bareback riders Tim O’Connell and Jesse Pope (each with 257.5 points on three head); steer wrestler Cody Metsker (12.8 seconds on three head); team ropers Tanner Saunders/Ranger Hill (18.7 seconds on three head); Blake Ash (26.1 seconds on three head); barrel racer Lacinda Rose (47.34 seconds on three runs); and bull rider Gumby Wren (168 points on two head). 

For more coverage of the RAM Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo, check out the Nov. 16 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.

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