Tibba Smith was the only breakaway roper to catch a calf in under 3 seconds, to win the first performance of the semi-final rounds and advance to the WCRA Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo Gold Medal Round.

Tibba Smith, a mother, a career woman and a breakaway roper, blew the WCRA Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo crowd away during the first performance of the semi-finals round on Tuesday, July 20, with a quick 2.28-second run, which won the round, worth $1,600, and advanced her to the Gold Medal Round on Saturday, July 24.

Smith, of Hobbs, New Mexico, was second out behind the WCRA Corpus Christi Major Champion Madison Outhier, who came up with a no-time. Smith knew she needed to make a smooth run to put pressure on the rest of the ladies.

“Madison Outhier was first, and she blew the barrier out,” Smith said, who works as the College Rodeo Secretary in the Southwest Region and is an insurance adjuster. “Tierra (Zapalac) had one step left and she didn’t get him caught. I knew it was a fast setup. Reid (Tierra’s husband) told me, ‘Don’t worry about getting out. I’m going to push him hard enough.’ I just nodded and went, and it worked out.”

Outhier Rides Championship Wave at Rodeo Corpus Christi

Smith drew a calf that Tyler Prcin, a calf roping competitor at the Days of ’47, had ran weeks prior at a Pro Rodeo. She watched Prcin’s video to give herself the best advantage.

“We knew that calf was going to break and run,” she said. “I kind of knew his pattern and he did exactly what he did with Tyler; he broke and ran and went to the right just a little bit. When I watched the video I said, ‘Heck yeah! This is what I wanted.’”

Tibba Smith owned one of the greatest breakaway horses of all times. Read about the horses here

Smith threw a quick loop but missed her slack once her rope was around the calf’s neck, which could have cost Smith the round win. Fortunately, Smith was riding Tierra’s little bay named Jelly Bean—who she has roped only three calves on him at her friend Jake Hannum’s house in Ogden, Utah, before the event—since the horse she planned on riding has a small tear in her tendon and is on stall rest for 30 days.

“I knew he would fire when I backed in the box and dropped my hand,” Smith said. “He stopped hard and would make my rope pop off fast, and that’s what he did. He breaks hard and stops hard.”

Semi-Finals Performance 1 Full Results

1. Tibba Smith, 2.28-second run, worth $1,600
2. Jenna Lee Hays Adam, 4.61-second run, worth $1,200
3. Shelli Scrivner, 4.64-second run, worth $800
4/5/6/7/8. Madison Outhier, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Tierra Zapalac, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Loni Lester, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Danielle Lowman, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. JJ Hampton, No Time