Patrick Smith Prepares for Battle in 2017

After a slow winter, Lipan, Texas' Patrick Smith is ready to hit the road harder than ever for the 2017 ProRodeo season.
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After a slow winter, Lipan, Texas' Patrick Smith is ready to hit the road harder than ever for the 2017 ProRodeo season.

The timeless team of Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith aren't in the top 50 in the PRCA's world standings heading into the spring rodeo run, but that's all about to change if Smith has anything to say about it. They're hot–coming off an $81,280 split at the George Strait Team Roping Classic–and they're more than ready in the horsepower department. We caught up with him as he rolled south down 45 to Huntsville, Texas–home to much more than a very busy execution chamber–for the Walker County Fair and Rodeo. 

Tell me about your winter. 

It was slow. I’ve only been to six rodeos as of today. It’s fixing to ramp up and get going. It was a little bit different because of the situation. Trevor and I didn’t get to go to Fort Worth or San Antonio or some of the majors. We’re just now heading to Huntsville, Redmond, Ore., tomorrow and Beaumont, Texas. But the jackpots have been really good. That always helps. It’s been good, I just haven’t gone enough places

You have a new horse you rode at the Wildifire?

Turbo is his name. He’s a 6-year-old dun I started riding this winter, and he’s really stepped up. He’s amazing for as young as he is and as green as he was. I bought him from Lari Dee Guy and Hope Thompson. He was just 4 years old. They’d started heeling on him. He wanted to be a little broncy when they saddled him. I knew he had talent, and I bought him and sent him to Ben Gambrell to rope the machine on him every day and get him patterned. I put a lot of runs on him, and he just did really good. The Wildfire was one of the first places I ever rode him. Heeling for Tsinigine that day he didn’t have any time to do anything but get to where we needed to get.

So what horses will be on your trailer this summer?

I have Turbo, Amigo and Lil Kim. I love her, and won’t sell her. Being a little behind in the rodeo count, we’ll rodeo pretty hard so I’ll need all three of them.

You’ve always got a good driver. Who is behind the wheel this year?

Tyler Ward is staying with me, but I haven’t gotten to see his driving skills yet because as we speak he’s watching me drive. He’s working on his heeling and that’s coming along. We’ll just say he’s riding with me this year. It’s kind of like traveling with Trevor really, only he’s smarter.

Will the family be on the road with you this summer?

There will be times the kids go and times they stay home. The kids are starting to get into sports, too. Eli has his first coach-pitch baseball game this weekend. They had one practice so far, but he missed it. We treat out heel horses and our kids the same—stick them in the fire and see how they do.

What’s one rodeo you’re looking forward to getting back to this year?

Las Vegas—that’s what I’m looking forward to.