Patrick Smith Looks to Defend Average Title, Cross $2.5 Million in Earnings at 2023 NFR

Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths

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With 14 NFR qualifications, Patrick Smith has more than any heeler in the field this year, and he’s only getting better.

Alongside partner Tanner Tomlinson, who is 20 years his junior, Smith won the NFR Average title with a record 53 seconds on 10 head in 2022. It was Smith’s third NFR Average win, but first since 2008.

Smith will likely cross $2.5 million in career earnings at the 2023 NFR (he needs $53,000) as he searches for that elusive Gold Buckle. This year, he enters the NFR No. 7, trailing top-ranked heeler Wesley Thorp by $55,000.


Cody Stampede (Wyoming), $7,332

There were four pairs that finished at 4.7 seconds and Tomlinson/Smith were a tenth faster than all of them to pick up a win over the Fourth of July. The only other time Smith has won in Wyoming in his career was in 2006 when he roped with Trevor Brazile.

Rodeo Austin, $6,885

Tomlinson/Smith had their best go of it during the Texas Swing in the capital. They placed in all three rounds, including second in Round 1 and fourth in the Finals.

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, $5,320

Tomlinson/Smith received a majority of their Fort Worth money from a 3.9-second run in the Semifinals that paid them $4,000. It was one of 25 runs of 4.2 Seconds or Faster the pair had on the year.


Old Fort Days Rodeo (Arkansas), 3.7 Seconds

Tomlinson/Smith’s first win of the year came at Old Fort Days on June 3. They were four tenths better than any other team.


Silver State Stampede (Nevada), 3.8 Seconds

The only other PRCA Playoff Series win of the year outside of Cody for Tomlinson/Smith came July 16 in Elko, Nevada. On July 15, they also won the Ute Stampede (Colorado). Those two wins paid them a total of $6,700 apiece.

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