Smith wins first world title

Courtesy PRCA ProRodeo Photo by James Phifer

Bowie resident Clay Smith earned his first world title in team roping at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last week.
Smith and his partner Paul Eaves finished third in the contest after catching eight of 10 cows for 34.5 seconds over the course of 10 days. The pair won $174,577 each at the event.
With both holding the number one position in the world standings heading into the event, they were just able to hold off the competition to earn the world title, finishing with $289,921 on the year.
Before the competition, Smith and Eaves announced they would be breaking up their partnership after this year to go their separate ways after four years together.
Together they had qualified for the National Finals and had finished 12th, second and third the three previous years.
Smith has been competing in the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association since 2013 in team roping as a header (meaning it is his job to catch the cow’s head).
Named after famous roper Clay O’Brien Cooper, Smith was born into roping along with his two younger brothers Jake and Britt, who also were named after famous ropers. Smith teamed with Jake his first two years on the pro circuit.
Smith now lives in Bowie along with his wife Taylor. The couple had their first son in April, Jade.