Timed Event 2.0

Taylor Santos, Tyler Waters OUT, Billy Good & Thomas Smith in with 4 Days Notice for ’24 Cinch Timed Event Championship
Thomas Smith isn't about to let time constraints hold him back from some Ironman redemption at this year's CTEC, and Billy Good is ready to run for his first Ironman battle.

Taylor Santos and Tyler Waters will miss the Cinch Timed Event Championship after injury.

Enter: the steer ropers.

On a Monday morning in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Thomas Smith stared at the eight horses saddled in his arena, his wheels turning to figure out which equine athletes were about to help him out at the 2024 Cinch Timed Event Championship that are just three days away, thanks to a last-minute substitution into the Lazy E’s event.

“I’ve got everything from a green-broke ranch horse to a finished head horse saddled,” Smith said. “After today, I’ll have it figured out which ones I’m taking to Guthrie.”

The three-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier (2019-2021) knew exactly what to do when he received the word from Lazy E’s general manager, Dan Wall, on Saturday, Feb. 24. The moment seemed to be his chance at a do-over from his first CTEC in 2020.

“In 2020, I got called in two weeks before [the Timed Event] started,” Smith said. “I learned a lot from that experience. I showed up with no help, just rolled in like it wasn’t a big deal. Now I know that it really is a marathon to compete in—it’s not like any other roping out there—and I’m coming in ready this time.”

The Smith family has deep roots in the Oklahoma roping scene. Thomas’ father, Tom, earned the title of 2014 Resistol Rookie of the Year in steer roping, just a year before Thomas achieved the same honor in 2015. His mother, naturally athletic, took up roping alongside her sons and now competes in barrel racing with Thomas’ wife, LaRae. Thomas’ sister, Tamara, is a regular presence at jackpots and rodeos, excelling in both breakaway roping and heeling. Additionally, her daughter, Hadley, shows promise as a rising talent in breakaway roping. Thomas himself has worked all of the timed events he could since his high school days, excelling in multiple at the collegiate, and later the professional level.

Thomas’ sons, Payden Cash (8) and Cashen Chex (3) will be accompanying mom and dad on the trek to Guthrie.

A few hours later…

Monday afternoon, a few hours South of Smith, in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, fellow NFSR (2020, 2023) qualifier, Billy Good is rushing home from a day of shoeing horses to press resume on his CTEC practice after he received a heads-up phone call from 2017 Ironman champion, Jess Tierney on Sunday night.

“Jess called me and said Dan Wall was about to call,” Good said. “I had terrible service and I said ‘I can’t hear you, but if I can go, I need to keep practicing anyway. You tell him I’ll be there,’ and I stayed out there as late as I could working at it. I had to shoe horses all morning, but I’m heading home now to practice until about 10 p.m.”

As if a surprise CTEC appearance and a full schedule of horses on the books isn’t enough pressure on the week, Good’s wife, Darcy, is due with the couple’s first child just hours after the end of CTEC 2024.

“My wife’s due date is this Sunday,” Good said. “When Jess originally told me there was a chance I could get in a few weeks ago, I didn’t know if I should. I told my wife I was on the fence about it and she said ‘No, you’re going!’ At least I knew when I got the real call, I had to say yes. So here we go.”

Good grew up roping calves and team roping around his family’s ranch in Eastern New Mexico, and continued to work all the collegiate timed events before training rope horses for a number of years. Like Smith, his family roots run through the steer roping community. His father, uncle and cousin all hold reserve or world championships in the tripping, and Billy’s father-in-law—who also boasts an NFSR back number—helped Billy get in the mix in the mid-2010’s. Since then, he’s maintained his competitive edge in both team roping events, and the tie-down.

“I’ve been dedicated to working four events, and I’ve worked five for a long time. I’ve always wanted to get the call.”

Billy Good

The 40th Annual Cinch Timed Event Championship action takes place in Guthrie’s Lazy E Arena Feb. 29-Mar. 2, 2024. You can watch all the action live on www.Roping.com and click here for ticket and event information.

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