Caleb Smidt Looks Back at 2018
In 2018, tie-down roper Caleb Smidt lost his father in January. Later that same year, his sister-in-law and her new husband died tragically in a helicopter crash when departing on their wedding day. Come December, as Smidt entered Round 1 at the 2018 NFR, he was determined to make those he'd lost proud.
"A lot of people rope for themselves or for titles," he says. "I just told myself, I'm not roping for any of that, I'm gonna rope for them — the three people I lost this year. When I backed in the box, that's all I could think about."
Smidt won the very first round that year, and when receiving his buckle, he presented it to his father-in-law Bill Byler, "for everything he's done for me," Smidt said, "and how strong he's been through this whole deal. He's been like a dad to me since I lost my dad in January."
After taking Round 1, Smidt went on to place in five more rounds, ultimately winning the average and his second World title.