What a difference a day makes. Just ask Clay Smith, who’d been dominant through two rounds and held the overall Cinch Timed Event Championship lead after four of five events in Round 3.

FEI Extends Shutdown of International Events in Mainland Europe Due to EHV-1 Outbreak


The shutdown will mean the cancellation of the FEI World Cup™ Finals for the second consecutive year following the loss of the 2020 Finals in Las Vegas (USA) to the Covid-19 pandemic.The FEI has imposed a further two-week extension of the shutdown of all international events in mainland Europe until 11 April 2021 due to the ongoing outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). The FEI had previously announced a 28-day shutdown on 1 March 2021.
The move, which aims to minimise the further spread of the very aggressive strain of the virus, was unanimously approved at an emergency FEI Executive Board meeting today. The extended lockdown applies to all FEI disciplines.

With 57.8 seconds on five runs—one each in heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping—two-time World Champion Team Roper Clay Smith took the Round 1 victory lap around the gargantuan Lazy E Arena on opening night at the 2021 Cinch Timed Event Championship. The guy who won back-to-back gold heading buckles in 2018 and ’19 got off to a great start, and grinned at evening’s end saying that competing in Rodeo’s Ironman is “almost a vacation” compared to getting ready for it.

“Gunners” – or the first team out at the 44th edition of the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) on March 14 – will be two of the wiliest veterans in the game. Not only has each man already won the BFI, but each has also ridden at least one horse awarded as the best of the event. Hall-of-Famer J.D. Yates, a 21-time NFR roper who won the BFI in 2010 with Jay Wadhams, will turn the first steer for eight-time NFR heeler Cody Cowden, who won “the Feist” in 1997 with Bobby Hurley.

RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo Presented by Durango Boots has crowned its 2021 champions, and each of these winners, for the first time in the American Rodeo history, are all from the top 10 world invitees, each taking home $100,000 in prize money.  Because no qualifier won their event, there was no million dollar bonus this year, and now the million will carry over to next year to potentially turn someone into the next multi-million dollar cowboy. 

The Sale at Rancho Rio:

Smartys Dunny, consigned by Trevor Brazile, sells for $250,000

Since its inception, The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio has become the leading rope horse sale in the country and the premier horse sale of the Team Roping Capital of the World. Held each year in Wickenburg, Arizona, in conjunction with the National Team Roping Finals, The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio is limited to 65 top rope horses and draws consignors and buyers from all over the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. Team Crowned Hometown Heroes in the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* Presented by Premier Equestrian at WEF 8
The hometown squad stepped up to shine under the lights during the week eight CSIO4* as the team from the United States of America claimed victory in the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by Premier Equestrian in the International Arena on Friday, March 5, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). In an adjusted format, the opening round was held at 4:30 pm EST while the second round was held under the lights in the International Arena getting underway at 7:30 pm EST, with both phases over a course designed by Steve Stephens (USA) and Nick Granat (USA). After the first round, each team dropped their highest score, with all eight teams from the opening phase qualifying to return for the second round under the lights.

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