Central Texas duo place 6th in world roping event in Las Vegas, bring home $48K prize
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas business owner, and busy married father of two, achieved something he wasn’t sure he’d ever do, placing sixth in a world roping event in Las Vegas and bringing home a cash prize of $48,000.
Micah Smith, of Crawford, along with his partner Levi Garcia, of Seguin, placed sixth in the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale in Las Vegas, held each year at the same time as the National Finals Rodeo.
The pair not only got a shiny new belt buckle to show for the win, but took home $24,000 a piece.
“Competing against 14, 15, 16 year olds, they’re just really hard to beat,” said the 42-year-old Smith. “I’m working a lot so I only get to rope about three times a month right now.”
Smith isn’t new to the rodeo world. He grew up around horses as a kid, but says he didn’t get interested in roping until much later in life.
“I knew how to swing a rope, but didn’t really know how to do it until I got older and out of high school,” Smith said. " And then it took me years to change my swing because once you get older it’s tough.”
In between coaching his oldest daughter’s softball teams and running a successful gutter company out of his home, Smith fit in practices to hone his craft.
He tried to learn from the best, often watching videos of their techniques.
He’s had some big success before, once splitting $25,000 prize a few years ago.
Smith and his partner competed in regional events around Texas to earn a qualifying spot in the Vegas event. They made it in 2020, but the event was canceled because of the pandemic.
This year, they put it all on the line and it paid off. Smith and Garcia had good runs the first three rounds, advancing to the final round.
“We knew going into the short run, once you make the short run in Vegas, you’re automatically guaranteed three or four thousand dollars a man so we knew we were good and I was happy with that, but we knew if we made a good run, they were going to have to pay us.”
Smith said winning the buckle and the cash really is a dream come true and he’s already got some plans for the cash. He plans to put it toward a swimming pool he’s building in his backyard.
“I mean I can’t even begin to tell you how nice these (belt buckles) are and what that means to go up to Las Vegas and win at one of the biggest ropings of the year,” Smith grinned.
“It was the biggest win I’ve ever had.”
Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.