Ryle Smith sits down with Justin McKee in Reno

Ryle Smith, a 2016 and 2018 NFR qualifier in the tie-down roping, advanced through the slack to make Sunday night’s performance in Reno.

Before he roped, he joined Justin McKee to discuss the beginning of Cowboy Christmas and just how important the Reno Rodeo is.

“This is the big first rodeo of Cowboy Christmas and so everybody is wanting to do good here. And it pays great so to just catch some momentum here can kick off a great summer for a guy,” he said.

Smith grew up in Oakdale, California, which is about 200 miles from Reno, so he said this rodeo is a bucket list one for him to win and a great opportunity to catch up with and compete in front of friends and family.

Smith is currently No. 21 in the PRCA World Standings in the tie-down roping and he has also qualified for the NFR in the steer wrestling. However, he told Justin McKee he has backed off steer wrestling and fully committed to calf roping.

Smith’s best finish in Reno is second in 2018.

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Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
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Professional rodeo action consists of two types of competitions - roughstock events and timed events - and an all-around cowboy crown.