Clay Smith, now a nine-time Cinch Timed Event Championship contestant, is not slowing down as he rode out the back of the Lazy E Arena in the driver’s seat of the 37th annual CTEC.
Smith is leading the Ironman event after Round 2 with a time of 120.3 seconds after knocking down a total of 10 head at the prestigious event.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in the lead after the first two rounds,” Smith said. “You just have to take it round by round, or steer by steer, so it’s a long way from over.”
Smith’s best events in Round 2 were the team roping heading and the calf roping and he notes that his worst was the steer tripping, where he had to retrip the steer after the steer didn’t take the trip on his first try.
“The heading is my favorite event, and the calf roping went pretty good,” Smith said. “The horse worked good and I got a pretty good start. I tied him in 10, so for me that’s pretty good. That’s about the fastest that I’m going to be. The steer roping got a little scary for me. The steer didn’t take the trip the first time so that made it a little bit scary for me. I didn’t do a very good job the first time.”
Smith is usually riding his iconic head horse Marty but this year he tapped his head horse General, who he will be heading on at the Bob Feist Invitational on Sunday, March 14. He is also riding Lane Livingston’s calf horse, his brother Jake Smith’s heel horse, Hunter Cure’s bull dogging horse and Scott Snedecor’s tripping horse.
“General came from Clay Deen,” Smith said. “That horse has been really good. He’s my long score, jackpot horse. I’m going to ride him at the BFI. The calf roping horse is outstanding. Lane brought me calves to the house and left the horse. The heeling horse is my brother’s heel horse. That horse is a great horse and Jake does a great job training. In the steer wrestling its Charlie, Hunter Cure’s horse. I think Hunter has won the world on him. That horse is automatic and Hunter hazes outstanding. Then in the tripping I borrowed Scott Snedecor’s horse. He scores and runs and makes is so easy to tie steers.”
Smith finished third in Round 2 with a time of 62.6 on five head. CTEC first-timer Tyler Waters, 33, took the anticipated victory lap after knocking down five head in 53.9 seconds.
“I go in Round 1 with 110 and had a lot of things go wrong,” Waters admitted. “I come back today and cut it in half by just relaxing. Every single event is a tie-turner. You have to keep your head here.”
Waters received the call to take Clayton Van Aken’s place at this year’s CTEC during the drastic winter snowstorms, which made for less preparation than he anticipated.
“They called me in the middle of that winter storm we had,” Waters said. “After that cleared out I had about two weeks to get ready.”