Stephenville’s Sterling Smith notches first win of 2018 NFR

Sterling Smith finally broke through at the 2018 NFR with a win in round nine.

Tie-down roper Sterling Smith wasn’t happy with how his run in Round 1 went. It put him behind in the average, which he’d been gunning for.

On Friday, Smith got a little solace when he stopped the clock in 7.4 seconds to win Round 9.

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“I shot myself for the week when I didn’t get a time (in Round 1 for the average),” said Smith, of Stephenville, Texas. “I should not have put a wrap and hooey on her. I had a real good, honest calf tonight. The second time we ran that calf she strained. Tonight, I just made sure and slowed down and gathered her slow and hoped she would not kick. I was able to get the job done. Now, I hope I can win (Round 10).”

Smith is ninth in the world standings with $158,609. He’s won $79,526 at the Finals but is 15th in the aggregate.

Tuf Cooper continues to lead the tie-down roping world standings. After splitting for third in Round 9, Cooper is up to $205,268. Cooper is eighth in the aggregate. Tyson Durfey is second in the world standings with $187,710.

Smith’s round win was his first since 2015, the last time he qualified for the Finals.

“I’m riding the horse I’ve been riding all year, it is my girlfriend’s horse,” Smith said. “The horse is named Pepto, and he is 11. This is the first time this horse has been to the NFR. He scores really, really good, and he’s just consistent all the time.”

The horse belongs to Cassidy Boggs.

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