For the second time in his career, Caleb Smidt is a world champion.
The tie-down roper from Bellville, Texas, won the 2018 gold buckle with $232,817, capping it off by winning the average with 83.7 seconds on 10 head. The average win cashed for $67,269.
Smidt’s previous world title (it also included the average title) came in 2015. Smidt’s newest title is the one he’s most proud of.
“This is awesome,” said Smidt, 29. “It has been a few years, but this one means a lot more to me than the first one. The first one I was young, and I was just roping. I came out here to rope and do it for my family. To have another world championship and average championship is awesome.”
Smidt’s only round win of the 2018 Finals came in Round 1. But that kicked off his Finals with a jumpstart. After that, he placed in four other rounds.
“I started off good, placed in the first three rounds and won the first round,” he said. “I got some money bottled up there. The second half (the final five rounds) I was just getting them turned around, tying them down, and that’s what won me the average.”
He also just kept catching.
“I wanted to do the same thing I’ve been doing all week,” Smidt said. “I got good starts and drew some really good calves. Tonight, I had one that was an OK calf and the horse was good. I’m just glad to be right here, right now.”
Smidt was riding Pockets.
“Pockets is 11 years old, and I have had him for four years,” Smidt said. “I won the world on him in 2015. He’s awesome. I didn’t ride him all summer. I rode a couple calves on him before I came out here (to the NFR), and he made it easy enough for me. We’ve got two gold buckles.”