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Texas roper leads Mayfield at NFR

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Texas roper Caleb Smidt moved a little closer to his fourth world championship on Thursday and Friday nights at the National Finals Rodeo.

Clovis’ Shad Mayfield, who came into the NFR in first place among tie-down ropers, finished sixth in Thursday’s eighth round, wrapping up his calf in 8.6 seconds. But Smidt finished fourth on Thursday, with an 8.0 time. Both ropers finished out of the money on Friday.

Mayfield tied a Thomas & Mack Center record by winning Tuesday’s sixth round in 6.5 seconds, and he’s finished in the money three times this NFR.

But Smidt has been the definition of consistency, earning prize money in eight of the first nine NFR rounds.

Through Friday, Smidt had earned $300,586 for the season to lead the world standings. Mayfield, who won the world championship in 2020, is in second place with $269,936.

Smidt also had a wide lead in the average among tie-down ropers at the NFR; 8.1 seconds per nine calves. Mayfield was in ninth place in the average; 11.6 seconds for eight calves.

The NFR average leaders pick up an additional $74,150, which counts toward the world standings.

The NFR’s 10th and final round was scheduled Saturday night.

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