Round 5: Clay Smith’s Breakdown from Arlington
Clay Smith and Jade Corkill won Round 5 at the 2020 Wrangler NFR in Arlington, Texas. Here Smith breaks down what that run felt like.


Round 5 of the 2020 Wrangler NFR at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.


3.6 seconds


Won the round, adding $26,231 to each of their earnings and was the fastest time of the week.

Whole New Ballgame: Smith and Corkill Smoke ‘Em in Round 5

1) ROUND 5:

I thought that there were some good average teams that went out, but when we went the round was looking pretty tough. We knew that we had to try to make a pretty good run. We had a good enough steer that it let us do that.


The wall is normally not a problem for me because you have to reach a little bit. I was closer on this run. At that particular setup, it seems like it was almost a little harder than in Vegas. I don’t know if you can see but, in this shot, my horse, Marty, is trying to figure out whether he needs to come to the left of that gate or if he needs to come down to the right of that gate. It’s a little bit tricky, so I was really trying to get him to come back. If you don’t heel him right there then one more stride I would be in the fence and I wouldn’t be able to get turned around. With that being said, that little corner was like a trap right there. It was almost a disadvantage to head them fast if the steer was a step left. If they were straight or right and you headed them fast, then it wasn’t as big a deal. At the same time, it made it tough on the heelers because they had to be up there to be ready and, if they step left, then you don’t have anywhere to go.

No Backing Off with Clay Smith 


We actually roped that steer before the rodeo started and we liked him a lot. At that point in the rodeo, we pretty much knew that we needed to be in the top couple places every night. We knew we were going to have to try to be pretty fast, but at the same time I didn’t feel like I threw a bunch of rope or anything like that. It was one of those runs where it all came together pretty fast.


We ran him in the practice deal and he was really good then. He was even better in this round. He got such a good start that it felt like he slowed up and it felt like he had it on him extremely fast. When I roped him, he kind of checked off a little bit to where he squared off faster to heel, and Jade heeled him as fast as he could and we got a good finish.


When you’re trying to go that fast, you can’t really think about trying to push forward and handle. All I was trying to do on this one was to keep his head bent and coming back down the arena for that corner as much as I could until Jade threw.


All that I’m trying to do is make sure that I’m leaned to the right. I’m leaned off to the side trying to do everything that I can to get him to come back one more stride because the way the fence runs down that direction, everything wants to flow down the arena. I’m trying to make him stay coming back as much as possible using my left hand and my left leg.


Luckily, when his head is to the left like that, he still faces. Normally, if I can just steer him which way I want to go, he pretty much knows how to face on his own.

Unregistered: The Best Grade Horses in Team Roping’s (RECENT) History

8) JADE:

Huey is a great horse, but I don’t think it matters what Jade rides. He can do it on anything. But, I know at the same time that it’s nice having your No.1 just for self-confidence. He could have done the same thing on any horse, but it does make you feel better when you have Huey. 

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