Clay Smith grew up doing almost everything from horseback. His father, Mark Smith, has been breaking and training horses since high school, when he also got his first infectious taste of roping. It would only be natural that Clay and his brothers would take to roping. According to Clay, “Roping has taught us a strong work ethic, the ability to absolutely focus, and responsibility, not only for keeping ourselves fit and healthy, but especially the horses which are an integral part of our lives.”
Clay started roping at two years of age by roping dummies (practice apparatus) of all sizes and types around the ranch and has been roping from horses since age four. Aside from devoting lots of time to practice, part of Clay’s success at roping can be attributed to his exceptional riding skills developed at an early age.
Clay’s early success was with competitive Dummy Roping where he competed at all levels, the most prestigious being the World Championships at the National Finals Rodeo. In 1998, after seven-year-old Clay won the World Championship Dummy Roping at the National Finals Rodeo and brother Jake placed high, they were invited to appear on The Tonight Show with host Jay Leno. Their appearance with Jay Leno was instrumental in promoting the sport of roping.
As an amateur, Clay and Jake finished fourth in team roping at the 2010 National High School Rodeo Finals. After Clay and Jake won a prestigious roping, the Wildfire Natl. Championship, with a payout of $100,000, the brothers took separate paths with Clay hitting the road with a different partner, qualifying for the NFR in Las Vegas his first year out. Clay has proven to be a tough competitor.
In 2018, Clay won his first team roping heading world championship at the Wrangler NFR with partner Paul Eaves. He repeated the feat the following year (2019) with Jade Corkill and finished with a first place world ranking and sixth place Wrangler NFR standing. In 2017, Clay and partner Paul Eaves finished fifth in world standings and ninth at the Wrangler NFR. He was ranked second at the Wrangler NFR and finished fifth in world standings in 2016, again with Paul Eaves. In 2015, with Paul Eaves, Clay finished thirteenth in world standings and eleventh at his first Wrangler NFR appearance. His PRCA career earnings exceed $1.2 million.
Clay and his wife Taylor have two children make their home at Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Clay has done a great job of representing the ADM Animal Nutrition® Forage First®
equine nutrition program for many years, and we look forward to many more.
For more information on Clay’s winnings: https://www.prorodeo.com/prorodeo/cowboys/cowboy-biographies?id=1010