Governor’s Cup Play-By-Play: Smidt Victorious in Round 2; Field of 8 Set for Saturday
See how each run played out for the 12 tie-down ropers competing at the 2023 Cinch Playoffs Governor's Cup in Sioux Falls, with full results.
Caleb Smidt stepping off his horse to win the second round of the 2023 Governor's Cup.
Caleb Smidt tied one in 7.0 to win the second round of the 2023 Governor's Cup and advance to Saturday. | Clay Guardipee

Round 2 of the 2023 Cinch Playoffs Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is in the books, setting the field for the clean-slate, round of eight Saturday, Sept. 30.

Caleb Smidt, reigning champ of the world, showed just how dominant he is, handling his slack perfectly and keeping his calf on his feet to win the second round with a 7.0 and pocket $10,000. His 14.7 on two head advances him to Saturday’s eight-man round.

Shad Mayfield leads the pack on two head with a 14.6 going into Saturday’s clean-slate round of eight. Mayfield was able to turn a not-so-great calf into cash in the second round, tying him in 7.4 seconds to split third and fourth in the round.

Haven Meged put together another textbook run, staying strong with his slack and timing his calf perfectly on the flank. He shared third and fourth in the second round with Mayfield with a 7.4-second run. With a 14.7 on two head, he advances to Saturday alongside Smidt.

Cory Solomon made it look easy in Round 2 with a 7.5, keeping in perfect timing throughout the run. At 14.8 on two head, Solomon will move on to the eight-man round.

Blane Cox was right behind Smidt in Round 2 with a 7.1-second run. Despite his calf jotting left and right and his slightly pegging on his front end, Cox remained smooth in his run. Cox is 14.9 on two calves to advance to Saturday.

Kincade Henry is moving on to the eight-man round with his 15.8 on two head. Henry’s calf may have been down when he got to him tonight, but he still managed to be 8.2, locking him in for Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Luke Potter has been the talk of the bubble this year, and he’s keeping alive his chance at his first NFR. Even with misstringing his calf, Potter was still 7.7 seconds in Round 2. He ended up 16.1 seconds on two calves to advance to Saturday’s clean-slate round of eight.

Westyn Hughes clinched the last spot in Saturday’s eight-man round with a 16.3 on two head. Hughes’ calf in the second round was squirmy on the ground, yet he still tied him in 8.5 seconds.

Ty Harris was a touch late at the barrier, but with a reach and hustling hard on a calf that wasn’t easy on the ground, he posted an 8.1-second run in Round 2. His broken barrier in the first round, however, took him out of the conversation for the eight-man round.

John Douch had Smidt’s calf from the first round, and he started a fast run getting out sharp and taking a good shot. But he lost some time once his calf got turned around, and he finished with an 8.2-second run. At 16.6 on two calves, he was just outside making the top eight.

Riley Webb again took too good of a start, breaking the barrier in the second round as well. He was 17.3 when it was all said and done.

Shane Hanchey took a chance on one and reached, but it wasn’t the outcome he needed. Hanchey was unable to make it work and will not be moving on.


1Shad Mayfield14.6/2
2Caleb Smidt14.7/2
3Haven Meged14.7/2
4Cory Solomon14.8/2
5Blane Cox14.9/2
6Kincade Henry15.8/2
7Luke Potter16.1/2
8Westyn Hughes16.3/2


Luke Potter knew he had to win over $9,000 to be inside the Top 15 and have a shot at his first NFR when he backed in the box to kick things off in Sioux Falls. He put together a solid run for Round 1 in 8.4 seconds.

John Douch was a little off the barrier and reached to snag his calf, but that, nor a bobble on the ground, could hold him back from a solid 8.4-second run.

Westyn Hughes, the 2023 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo champion, pinged the barrier and was smooth through his entire run to tie in 7.8 seconds, then cracked a big smile.

Haven Meged’s horse was rock-solid as he waited on his calf to stand square in the chute. After throwing on his second swing, he put together a textbook run in 7.4 seconds to take command of the round.

Blane Cox put together a smooth 7.8-second run, a possible preview for his comfort level in quick, indoor setups before his second NFR.

Ty Harris’ vibe was early—from moving before the calf, to getting ahead of his slack in the get off on a soft calf. A broken barrier took him out of night one conversation.

Kincade Henry was off the barrier and pulled off a unique shot, hitting his calf in the back and catching it around the neck with the end of his loop. He took advantage of the “lucky” catch and put together a 7.6-second run.

Shane Hanchey had a hard-running calf and made a business-man run in 9.5 seconds, recovering well after chasing his calf over halfway down the pen.

Shad Mayfield hustled to a 7.2-second run, roping fast and staying patient in his stirrup to let his slack work for him. After that, Mayfield made the run look easy and took the round win.

Caleb Smidt, riding Shane Hanchey’s Bugsy, fished his loop on and stumbled to his calf. A light struggle on the flank, and Smidt still went 7.7.

Cory Solomon and his palomino were spot on the barrier, roped slick and let his horse work while he shot down the rope. After one wrap and a hooey, Solomon’s time was 7.3.

Riley Webb broke out on a slow calf and had to stand him back up for a totaled 18.7 seconds.