Colorado’s Tyler Smith Hopes to bring Gold Home to the Rockies

For nearly a decade Colorado native Tyler Smith has been riding bulls. For the third time in his career he will make the seven hour trek from Fruita, Colorado to Las Vegas for the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Coming off his best year statistically (and financially) in bull riding, Smith, now 27 years old, has won close to $800,000 dollars riding bulls and is hoping to continue his winning ways by adding to that total in December.


In 2011, while traveling with former CBR World Champion Clayton Foltyn, Smith was issued a special invitation from Tuff Hedeman to a CBR Tour event. He won the long round and finished 4th in the average in April at Hedeman’s Las Vegas Shootout, but injuries would plague him and keep him out of all competition for the rest of 2011 and 2012.  


A healthy Smith would make a strong comeback in 2013, qualifying for his second WNFR and placing second in Round 2 and 5. He finished third in the PRCA world standings that same year with $156,277 in total earnings.  


Chilling out in Colorado on his newly purchased land, Smith said he enjoyed the CBR’s he has attended in the past and hopes to have the opportunity to attend CBR events in 2015, but for now WNFR is the only bull riding on his mind.


Smith is taking some time off staying close to his home and staying in shape Ardie Maier style, building fence and welding. He has not gotten on any bulls recently but is planning to start soon. 


“I have looked at the stock list,” said the cowboy who went to 77 rodeos in 2014 to make the 15 man roster. “I usually just ride them jump for jump, but this year I am going to have more of a game plan in my head regarding the bulls in Vegas - I have seen most of them on the rodeo trail during the year.”


Ironically, “Ty” who comes in to Vegas in the number 10 qualifying position for WNFR, won the bulk of his 2014 earnings at a rodeo that does not count towards WNFR qualifications. On March 22, Smith won Rodeo Houston’s mega purse leaving Texas that weekend with $77,000.  By the end of this qualifying year he had won 5 events and $70,040 in PRCA earnings for 2014.


The right handed, 5’8 135 pound bull rider has racked up fifteen 90 point plus rides, 28 go round wins and drives into Vegas riding 44% of his draws during the past 12 months which statistically ranks him 7th among the 15 bull riders headed to Vegas. His highest marked ride of record was on May 3, 2013 in Guymon, Oklahoma when he was 93 points on Box K’s Rio Bravo.


Ty who was born in Fruita, a small town in Western Colorado, grew up in a rodeo friendly family. His father ropes and he started his son riding roping steers.  He rode thru the ranks of Little Britches and other amateur associations and by the time he reached high school the young Smith knew he wanted to ride bulls. “We used to run home at lunchtime in high school and get on bucking stock”, said Smith when asked how he got started riding bulls. That lunch time work-out proved beneficial as he would go on to qualify three times for the National High School Finals Rodeo and was the Colorado High School Bull riding champion in 2004.  


With a long and distinguished bull riding resume in hand, veteran bull rider Tyler Smith heads to Las Vegas. Good Luck Tyler. 


PRCA Career Highlights


2014 Highlights

• Won the Seminole Classic Xtreme Bulls (Okeechobee, Fla.)

• Won the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo (Moab, Utah)

• Won the Division 2 Qualifying Xtreme Bulls Event (Albuquerque, N.M.)

• Co-champion at the Wrangler Champions Challenge (Amarillo, Texas)

• Co-champion at the Eagle (Colo.) County Fair & Rodeo


Career Highlights


• 2013: Placed in four rounds of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, including second-place results in Rounds 2 and 5; finished third in the world standings with $156,277. Won the Reno (Nev.) Xtreme Bulls; the Rapid City (S.D.) Xtreme Bulls; the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo; the Buffalo Bill Rodeo (North Platte, Neb.) and La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Tucson, Ariz.). Co-champion at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)

• 2012: Finished 107th in the world standings with $8,677

• 2011: Finished 29th in the world standings with $36,111

• 2010: Placed in three rounds of the Wrangler NFR, including a win in Round 8 with an 87-point ride on D & H Cattle's Grey Dog; finished third in the world standings with $156,132. Won the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo; the Will Rogers Stampede (Claremore, Okla.) and the Austin, Texas, Division 2 Xtreme Bulls event

• 2009: Won the Pioneer Days Rodeo (Clovis, N.M.); finished 18th in the world standings with earnings of $59,491

• 2008: Won the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo (Pueblo); the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo (Castle Rock, Colo.) and the Ouray County Fair & Rodeo (Ridgeway, Colo.), finished 73rd in the world standings with $16,959