Champ looking for repeat

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Todd Burns of Albuquerque scored 75 points during the bareback bronc riding event of Saturday’s Pioneer Days Rodeo at the Curry County Events Center.

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

Stran Smith has been calf roping since he was 16 years old, and last year he earned the title of world tiedown champion.

Smith, from Childress, Texas, is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and he was in Clovis this weekend to defend his title during the 39th annual Pioneer Days PRCA Rodeo. Smith said his dad got him started in the sport and he has been doing it for 22 years.

“Pretty much if I’m not working, I’m practicing,” Smith said. “It’s like a football or basketball player, there’s no substitute for that. The guys that usually win are the guys that practice the most.”

Whenever he has nothing to do, Smith is out from sun up to sun down practicing to stay at the top of his game.

Smith said he likes the lifestyle of being a calf roper and having the chance to spend time with his family.

“I keep my own schedule,” Smith said. “To put it one way it is a hard way to make an easy living.”

The purse in the final round of tie-down competition is anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000.

Smith has been all over the United States and Canada competing in rodeos to help him in the PRCA World Standings.