Flash Staff Report
(August 2, 2017) — One thing about rodeo – one win, the right one anyway, can turn everything around.
Ryle Smith, a past Tarleton State standout, was down on his luck and low on funds entering the PRCA’s annual swing through Utah. When the Stephenville cowboy pulled into Salt Lake City, he was considering throwing in the towel. He pulled out of the Utah capital in contention for the world all-around title.
Smith turned in a banner performance in the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo, topping all competitors with earnings of $67,600.
Back-to-back runs of 4.0 seconds gave Smith steer wrestling victories in the fourth round – $3,200 – and the Gold Medal Round – $50,000 all counting toward the PRCA world standings.
In tie-down roping, Smith took second behind Ryan Jarrett in the third performance, his run of 8.6 seconds good for $2,400. But it was replacing Jarrett in the gold medal round that really paid off, as Smith stayed hot with a 8.2 to place third and pocket another $12,000.
With pertinent earnings of $116,840.27, Smith is currently third in the all-around standings, trailing just Tuf Coooper ($163,025.25) and Caleb Smidt ($124,333.05). Trevor Brazile, the legendary 13-time all-around champion, is fourth at $107,419.69.
Smith is fifth in the world in steer wrestling where he’s made $77,589.38.
Kaleb Driggers is the lone athlete currently residing in Erath County to lead the world standings. The Huckabay header nicknamed “The Wolf,” and heeling partner Junior Nogueira are tops in team roping. Driggers has made almost $108,000.
Stephenville High School graduate Jacobs Crawley leads the world in saddle bronc. Having relocated to Boerne, Crawley, the 2015 world champion, has topped $144,000 this season.
Six athletes with local ties are among the top five in the world in their events: Smith in steer wrestling, Driggers and No. 3 Luke Brown in team roping heading, No. 3 Paul Eaves in heeling, Crawley in saddle bronc riding and No. 5 Marty Yates in tie-down roping.
Below is a look at the earnings of the 16 local athletes who would be headed to the National Finals Rodeo if the PRCA season ended today. There are several others on the bubble, just on the outside looking in.
(1 – $165,544.38; 15 – $57,872.19)
11. Richmond Champion – $69,562.56
(1 – $134,221.79; 15 – $49,884.34)
5. Ryle Smith, Stephenville, $77,589.38
TEAM ROPING (Headers)
(1- $107,642.77; 15 – $42,777.60)
1. Kaleb Driggers, Huckabay $107,642.77
3. Luke Brown, Stephenville $82,114.82
6. Cody Snow, Stephenville $70,657.13
10. Charly Crawford, Huckabay $60,985.63
TEAM ROPING (Heelers)
(1 – $107,642.77; 15 – $49,615.14
3. Paul Eaves, Lipan $85,299.30
6. Jake Long, Morgan Mill, $73,586.03
8. Wesley Thorp, Stephenville $71,652.84
13. Kory Koontz, Stephenville, $55,497.68
15. Travis Graves, Morgan Mill, $49,615.14
SADDLE BRONC RIDING
(1 – $144,185.71; 15 – $56,026.07)
1. Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville/Boerne $144,185.71
10. Sterling Crawley, Stephenville $64,734.29
14. Brody Cress, Tarleton $57,766.45
(1 – $143,959.15; 15 – $57,183.36)
5. Marty Yates, Stephenville $80,194.26
15. Timber Moore, Stephenville/Tarleton/Aubrey $57,183.36