Champions Rode Their Way to the top During RODEOHOUSTON® Super Series I

by | Mar 1, 2018 | RODEOHOUSTON

It was a wild night in NRG Stadium as cowboys and cowgirls battled it out during the RODEOHOUSTON Super Series I Championship. The athletes competed for the top four spots in each event to advance to the Semifinals on March 14 and 15.



Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, secured a win during night three of Super Series I and spot in the Semifinals with a time of eight seconds in the Tie-Down Roping event. With a solid ride to end the series, Smidt said he knows how to prepare moving forward.


“This ride tonight gave me confidence more than anything,” Smidt said. “I’m going to practice at my house and spend time with my family before the next round.”

Advancing to a Semifinal Round:

  • Caleb Smidt: Bellville, Texas — $7,000
  • Tim Pharr: Resaca, Georgia — $4,000
  • JC Malone: Plain City, Utah — $3,000
  • Logan Bird: Nanton, Alberta, Canada — $2,750



Steven Dent took the win in Bareback Riding during Super Series I. During high school, Dent was heavily involved in athletics and was a champion football player and wrestler. He said these experiences prepared him for bareback riding.


“Football and wrestling taught me work ethic and how to set goals,” Dent said.

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • Seven Dent: Mullen, Nebraska — $4,875
  • Richie Champion: The Woodlands, Texas — $4,500
  • JR Vezain: Melstone, Montana — $3,375
  • Kelly Timberman: Mills, Wyoming — $3,375



With valuable experience behind them, Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard were confident returning to RODEOHOUSTON in 2018. That confidence showed as they secured a Team Roping Championship in Super Series I. Woodard said he is glad to be back at the Rodeo, among tough competition.


“Being here before helps,” Woodard said. “We are banking on our experience to carry us on through the competition, which is the best in the world.”

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • Matt Sherwood: Pima, Arizona, and Walt Woodard: Stephenville, Texas — $8,000
  • Chad Masters: Cedar Hill, Tennessee, and Travis Graves: Bluff Dale, Texas — $7,500
  • Luke Brown: Morgan Mill, Texas, and Jake Long: Morgan Mill, Texas — $6,000
  • Dustin Bird: Cut Bank, Montana, and Jake Minor: Milton-Freewater, Oregon — $6,000



Layton Green used his eight seconds of glory to obtain a win for Super Series I. Green said having a relaxed attitude and a great enjoyment of the sport served him well during the competition.


“I try not to overthink things,” Green said. “If you’re having fun you’re riding well, and if you’re riding well you’re having fun.”

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • Layton Green: Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada — $5,500
  • Cody Demoss: Heflin, Louisiana — $5,375
  • Audy Reed: Spearman, Texas — $3,000
  • Nick Laduke: Livermore, California — $3,000



Justin Shaffer of Hallsville, Texas, won the Super Series I Steer Wrestling Championship. In his first year competing at RODEOHOUSTON, Shaffer said he is impressed with the competition and is excited for what is ahead.


“It is so exciting to be here,” Shaffer said. “Everyone here knows what it takes to win, and I can see how that motivates everyone to compete really hard.”

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • Justin Shaffer: Hallsville, Texas — $6,000
  • Hunter Cure: Holliday, Texas — $4,000
  • Baylor Roche: Tremonton, Utah — $3,000
  • KC Jones: Decatur, Texas — $2,000



With a time of 14.77 seconds, Taci Bettis solidified her spot in the Barrel Racing Semifinals. Bettis was thrilled to compete at RODEOHOUSTON and said this particular rodeo has been on her bucket list her entire life.


“I’m just going to keep trying to have smooth runs,” Bettis said.

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • Taci Bettis: Round Top, Texas — $7,000
  • Sabra O’Quinn: Ocala, Florida — $4,000
  • Kelly Bruner: Millsap, Texas — $3,000
  • Ericka Nelson: Century, Florida — $2,375



JW Harris from Goldthwaite, Texas, was named the Super Series I Bull Riding Champion. Harris said he is confident about where he is and he hopes to take this momentum into the Semifinals.


“I am really enjoying what I am doing,” Harris said. “The atmosphere here is great. It’s been a tough couple of years for me, but I’m where I want to be right now.”

Advancing to Semifinal Round:

  • JW Harris: Goldthwaite, Texas — $6,000
  • Aaron Pass: Kaufman, Texas — $4,500
  • Tyler Bingham: Honeyville, Utah — $3,750
  • Clayton Sellers: Fruitland Park, Florida — $3,500


The top four from each event, from each Super Series will advance to a Semifinal Round. The top four from each event in the Semifinal rounds will advance to the RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Championship, Saturday, March 17. The remaining six from each event in the two semifinals will compete in the Wild Card Round, Friday, March 16, where the top two from each event will advance to the Championship. Each event champion will walk away with a $50,000 payout, in addition to previous winnings. The RODEOHOUSTON Super Series continues through March 17, with the RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout: North America’s Champions® presented by Crown Royal, on Sunday, March 18.

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