LAS VEGAS – The only difference from his second-round victory in 2017 and his Round 10 round title a year ago is that Garrett Smith gets to enjoy the experience a little more.
Everything else was the same Friday night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“That’s my second round win on the same bull,” said Smith, 22, of Rexburg, Idaho. “I was really excited last night when they said I had him. That bull fits me really good. I’ve been on him three times, and I’ve actually won the rodeo every time I’ve been on him.”
The bull is Rafter J Rodeo’s J Lazy, and Smith actually . On Friday night, he and Smith danced across the Thomas & Mack Center dirt for 87 points. He pocketed $26,231 for winning the round and pushed his NFR earnings to $48,448.
The biggest prize came in the form of closing the gap even more on the world-standings leader, three-time world champion Sage Kimzey. Smith has now earned $253,797 in 2017 and trails Kimzey by $11,548.
“It’s a good feeling having a fun race like this and have everyone cheer you on,” said Smith, who also rode J Lazy at Cheyenne, Wyo. “My confidence is pretty high at the moment. It feels pretty good.
“Tonight was the spinner pen. It only gets harder from now on, so it should be good watching.”
He concluded Friday night by attending the Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation at the South Point. Because he last round title came on the 10th night, there was no presentation.
“That is pretty exciting,” he said. “Last year they just gave us our buckles, said good job, and we left. Last year I had it on before I even got to the locker room.”
He keeps a simple approach to riding bulls. That’s been key to his season, so there’s no reason to change now.
“As long as I just keep smiling and keep my hand close, it’s going to be good watching either way,” Smith said. “I’m having fun.”