Young Riley Webb has been the talk of the tie-down roping industry, and largely the rodeo community as a whole throughout 2023, and his record-breaking season in the tie-down roping didn’t happen by chance.
Riley Webb is seated atop the PRCA tie-down roping world standings with $245,610.51 won with a month left to go in the regular season, soaring past the previous season earnings record as July was closing out. Webb’s been on a straight path since he notched the Resistol Rookie of the Year title in 2022 and qualified for his first NFR. After he left Las Vegas, he barely took a breath when he came home to regroup.
“It’s the horses making the difference,” Webb said. “I bought Boots right after the finals, I’ve been riding him all year and just sent him home for a bit. I have Titus and he was great last year, but I needed something to back him up. I ran so many on him, he just got tired.”
To be clear, Webb and his family drove straight home after the tenth round on Saturday in Las Vegas last December, made it home to Denton, Texas, Sunday evening and tried Boots on Monday morning. He immediately jumped into his 2023 season prep, ready to apply the broader lessons he learned in 2022. It worked out, as his stellar winter season with wins at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, and RodeoHouston gave him the momentum to push ahead. Due to his rookie status in 2022, Webb hadn’t been able to capitalize on the invitational rodeos early on in the year.
“I felt behind all of 2022, like I would win and still be behind,” Webb said. “Finally in the Northwest (in the final month of the 2022 season), I finished off strong and punched my ticket at the end of the year. I knew I could do it, I had to just keep believing in myself.”
Webb has been on some pretty major stages since he was roping at a young age, and he learned early on how to get control of his mind and make things happen in the arena.
“At a young age, I made The American Rodeo in 2020 and the (San Angelo) Roping Fiesta—I was the youngest to do that in the same year,” Webb explained. “I won the (National High School Finals Rodeo) that same year. I told myself at a young age this is what I wanted to do and wanted to be, so I never got caught up in who I was roping against. I just pictured myself going against them.”
Webb didn’t just compete like a pro in his teenage years, he practiced like one, too.
“The more you practice, the better you’ll be,” Webb said. “But have a meaning when you practice. Back in the box like ‘I’m in the short round of the NHSFR. I have to be 8.5 to win it.’ Put yourself on those stages in the practice pen, challenge yourself. That’s what I did. yeah, I roped on those big stages, but I practiced for those situations, so I was ready.”
Webb’s got one month left on the season and 10 rounds in Las Vegas to prove if his preparation has him gold-buckle ready. Lurking beneath Webb in the standings are three men who already wear world championship buckles—Shane Hanchey, Haven Meged and Shad Mayfield, followed by 2023’s The American Rodeo champion, Ty Harris, all with over $128,000 won so far this year.