Tanner Tomlinson and Patrick Smith are on a hot streak this July. The pair just came away with a big win over the July 15 weekend at the Silver State Stampede, one of the rodeos included in the Cinch Playoff Series, by clocking 3.8 second winning run and setting an arena record.
The top 8 finishers in the Playoff Series will compete for the Governor’s Cup and more than $1 million in prize money. The event, set for Sept. 28-30, in Sioux Falls, will be the richest rodeo in South Dakota history.
Currently, Smith is ranked 5th in the PRCA world standings among heelers, and Tomlinson is 6th among headers.
The duo made a splash in 2022, grabbing the average championship at the National Finals Rodeo in December. They finished second in the world standings last season, collecting $307,095 in earnings.
Since joining forces in 2022, the media has loved the relationship between the seasoned veteran and Tomlinson who was a toddler when Smith was crowned PRCA Rookie of the Year in 2003. He fondly remembers following Smith’s career.
In 2007, Patrick began roping with Brazile, winning the NFR average in 2008. Their partnership continued to thrive and brought them the 2010 Team Roping World Championship.“I’ve looked up to Patrick my whole life,” Tomlinson says. “It feels like yesterday I was watching him and Trevor on television.”
Watching the two work together, one is immediately struck by their special kinship. They talk easily and laugh together. It’s clear that Tomlinson looks up to Patrick. It’s also clear that Smith enjoys the energy his protege brings to the table.
“Experience matters a lot,” Smith says. “Just having someone who’s been there is important. But it’s also important to rope with someone whose experience is new.”
Competing together night in and night out with one of his childhood idols is a dream come true for Tomlinson.
“It’s an honor,” he says. “I’ve looked up to Patrick my whole life. It feels like yesterday I was watching him and Trevor on television.”