Garrett Smith from Rexburg, Idaho, competed at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in the bull riding last year. But it wasn’t the first time the talented cowboy was part of the championship action.
Garrett is the middle of three brothers. All three are involved in rodeo. Younger brother Payson competes in the National High School Rodeo Association. Older brother Wyatt is a collegiate all-around and steer wrestling champion and qualified for the NFR in 2014 in the steer wrestling. After having been shut out of the first five rounds, Wyatt needed to change something so he got Garrett to ride into the arena beside him as his hazer.
That was one of the most nerve wracking things that Garrett has ever done with the pressure of Wyatt’s success depending upon him. At the same time, it was a familiar position as they have competed against each other and helped each other in the rodeo arena since they began.
Both Wyatt and Garrett are all-around champions. Garrett set a record for all-around titles at the National High School Rodeo Finals winning the title three consecutive times beginning in 2011. He joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2014 and one year later narrowly missed qualifying for the NFR finishing the season in 22nd place.
Last year one of his dreams came true when he got to nod his head inside the famed yellow bucking-chutes. He entered the competition in 10th place, but after winning $77,269 in Las Vegas finished the season in fifth place.
Garrett used that momentum to start his 2017 season and midway through leads the pack.
Favorite movie: It’s hard to pick just one because there are so many movies. The one we watch in the van the most is called Out Cold. We usually watch it at least two times a trip.
Favorite current TV show: Suits has been a pretty good series. My little brother (Payson) got me hooked on that. It’s about a bunch of lawyers and is usually pretty funny.
Dogs or cats: Dogs all the way. Between me, Payson and Wyatt, we have four. I got a new puppy about a week before last year’s NFR.
Favorite dessert: I love fried ice cream. Mom makes it almost every time I get home and that’s a special thing.
Favorite card or board game: Monopoly. We’ve always played it since we were little. It was either Monopoly or Rodeo Opoly. We found one for the Xbox and we play it all the time on the road. Usually the loser has to drive the next shift.
Favorite sport, other than rodeo: It would have to be football. I like it at the college level. I don’t really have a favorite team but I’ve always cheered for Alabama, and that’s mostly because Payson doesn’t like them.
If you weren’t in rodeo, what would you be doing: Training horses and ranching.
Best gift you ever received: When I was little they got me a bull rope. I had begged for four years and they finally got me one. That put me on the course that I’m on today.
Best childhood memory: There’s been a lot of them. The one that sticks out in my mind involves all three of us. It was winter. Wyatt, Payson and I decided to put two innertubes together and tie them to the four-wheeler. Payson was driving and I was riding, I caught my ankle between two chunks of ice and broke it. Wyatt and Payson weren’t done so they propped me up by the fence and figured it was cold enough to keep it from swelling. About an hour later I got to the doctor.
Favorite thing you like about Las Vegas:Everything. The energy in the building and the whole city is amazing. When you step up on the chutes and it’s bull riding time, the crowd goes crazy. That’s something I’ve never felt before. It’s a great time, because there are so many friends and family members that you only see there.
What do you do in your spare time: Just relax. I come home, rope and steer wrestle, do everything but ride bulls. It’s helps me get my mind off of bull riding.
Best travel partner: Riker (Carter) does all of the entering and maps things out. Sometimes he drives pretty good and sometimes he just doesn’t drive much. We get along really well, have the same goals and have known each other since we were kids in junior rodeo. My all-time favorite was Tag Elliot. People wouldn’t know it, but he is really funny.
Famous figure you’d like to meet: Rob Dyrdek – Ridiculousness. That guy is awesome. He has done so many TV shows and so much stuff. He lives the life.
Music: Mostly Rap – Keeps you going down the road.
Best thing about riding bulls: The adrenaline rush and not ever knowing what is going to happen. You can get on the same bull five different times and it is never exactly the same.
What bull is your dream bull to get on: I would have loved to get on Long John. I think he would have fit the way I ride.
If you could live anywhere where would it be: That’s kind of hard because there are so many cool places in our country and as a rodeo cowboy we get to see a lot of them. I would definitely like to have a vacation home in Hawaii. I’ve never been there, but I love warm weather and it’s definitely a place that’s on my bucket list.
Facebook or Twitter – Instagram is my favorite social media platform. I like the fact that it’s based on pictures and videos. It’s very visual.