NFR Report (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

It’s nice to be home after two weeks in Las Vegas. The finals are history for another year. Overall, I’m satisfied with the outcome. I won second in the average and about $86,000 between average and round money. My biggest excitement is how well my mare did. She won the Calf Horse award at the NFR. Going in to the finals I had pretty big expectations for her and she surpassed them all. During the entire ten rounds she didn’t make one mistake.

Unfortunately, a few mishaps along the way keep me from being able to say the same thing about my performance. In all events, some had a great finals, some had a good finals and then some didn’t enjoy much success. When you’re having a bad finals, it’s tough to remind yourself that you belong there – you earned it by being one of the top fifteen competitors in the world. The national finals rodeo is not an invitational event.

Most people will never realize what it takes to make the national finals. The hours of practice, the ups and downs of competition and sacrifices are all part of the journey. And everyone who makes it secretly hopes they don’t go through a “slump” during that ten days – but sometimes it happens.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support during the finals. Thanks to everyone who voted for my horse. She’s phenomenal and I’m truly grateful that I get to take care of her and ride her.

Till next time, see you down the line and God Bless.