“I’ve always wanted to rope since I could walk and be around horses, and it’s what I’ve always done,” says Caleb Smidt. “I watched the […]
5 Star Champion Featured Athlete Jimmie Smith
Written by: Lindsay King< Back to Articles
In a word, the 2022 rodeo season has been all about driving for Jimmie Smith from McDade, Texas. Sky-high gas prices aren’t keeping her at home after 2021 almost sidelined her completely. “Last June, I was in a super bad semi-truck accident,” the professional barrel racer said. “That really shook things up. It took my good rope horse and barrel horse out of the trailer for the summer. But through the wreck, I met some really great people and that’s how I got paired up with Viper who kept me in the standings.” Jimmie and Viper landed in the 17th hole last season. Now she’s approaching the year with a new mentality that’s truly paying off.
“Each year it seems like there are different goals. This year I’m just doing what’s best for me and my horses; minding our own business and taking care of ourselves.” Jimmie admits that she’s put a lot of pressure on herself and her mounts in the past three rodeo seasons. “I wanted to make the finals every year and keep up with everyone else by going to all the rodeos; especially over Cowboy Christmas.” Rather than going to every rodeo on the map, Jimmie is picking wisely. She’s hyper focused on competing in the rodeos that her horses will perform well at. “I’m trying to rodeo smarter. I’m choosing rodeos that I enjoy, which I usually have more confidence at anyways. I’ve stopped chasing rodeos and money.” Focusing on her horses is putting the joy back into rodeo as the pressure eases off. It’s a great strategy for Jimmie’s mental game as she’s looking to breach the top 15 this year just as she did for the first time in 2018.
“I’ve rodeoed my whole life and then did college rodeo. I was more of a goat tier and breakaway roper originally. I made the college finals in both of those.” Even though Jimmie’s been a lifelong barrel racer, prior to 2016 it had been a while since she had a top mount to turn the clover leaf pattern. It was in the fall of 2016 that Jimmie found Lena On The Rocks. “I had been looking for a horse that would be the next best thing to raising babies since all my own were still too young to go yet.” Lena was 6 when she got paired up with Jimmie. Their first major event together was the Lucky Dog American Semi Final Qualifier in December. After qualifying for the American, Jimmie realized Lena was something special.
“I was really focusing on my college rodeos, so I was saving Lena to make the college finals. I graduated from Texas A&M in May 2018, we went to the college finals and we entered all the rodeos that summer.” It was Jimmie’s rookie season and she managed to clinch the year-end title thanks to her partnership with Lena. That was the same year Jimmie landed her very first sponsorship contract with 5 Star Equine. “I really appreciate and love the atmosphere that 5 Star provides and all their products are American made. They’re super great to work with as a team.” When Jimmie qualified for the American semi final in 2016, she won herself a pink 5 Star saddle pad. It was her first experience with the brand and now she can’t imagine riding anything else.
“I love my pink 5 Star pads. They keep my horses super happy, and I don’t have any issues with soreness in their back.” Jimmie rarely saddles her horses with anything but a pink 5 Star pad anymore. She enjoys matching her pad with her horses’ boots and her own shirt. She also uses their mohair breast collars to pull the entire 5 Star, usually pink, ensemble together. “I just really like that they keep my horses happy. I don’t have issues in their back, they’re never really sore when it comes to my pads and saddles fitting, they just fit accordingly. And my horses are able to perform to their best.”