Throw the Hat! Riley Webb Goes 6.9 in Round 3, Surpasses $300K
Riley Webb clinches first-ever round win at the NFR with a 6.9-second run and pushes to $327,550 in earnings.
Riley Webb adds to his world standings lead with a 6.9-second run in Round 3.
Riley Webb adds to his world standings lead with a 6.9-second run in Round 3. Photo by Jamie Arviso.

Who won 2023 NFR Round 3 NFR tie-down roping?

Riley Webb has officially earned more than $300,000 on the year with his Round 3 win on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, with a 6.9-second run.

“I’d told myself ‘I’m not going to throw my hat until I’m 6 seconds in the Thomas & Mack,” Webb said.

Tonight was the night, and the tan American felt went sailing through the air. For the win, Webb earned $30,706, bringing his total on the year to $327,550.

“The run felt great,” Webb said. “Going that fast was how I drew the game plan up with Dylan Hancock and Rhen Richard. We thought by watching the videos that the calf was going to take a step to the left and be really good on the ground.”

Webb noted he didn’t nail the barrier like he did in Round 2, but it was close enough. His mount “Rudy” locked on to the calf as Webb roped and threw his slack to the outside.

“I turned him around, had him down fast and went in with the wrap and the hooey,” Webb said. “I don’t remember tying the calf. I remember putting a hooey on him, but muscle memory takes over. I’ve tied thousands of calves for that moment, so you can’t slow down too much and get caught up and get thinking.”

Horse swapping

Webb started the NFR riding “Boots,” the gelding that carried him to his season earnings record. He purchased Rudy, registered as Marked Up Cat, in August and had initially planned to ride him at the NFR because he thought he’d fit the setup well.

“Then I was roping the week before we left for the NFR at Chris Neal’s and went 6.4 on Boots,” Webb explained “So, I rode Boots in the first performance and set him up badly off the corner due to nerves.”

Webb’s Round 1 ended in an 8.7-second run that kept him out of the money, so he decided to revert to his original plan and ride Rudy.

Riley Webb went back to his plan of riding "Rudy" after a Round 1 bobble on "Boots."
Riley Webb went back to his plan of riding “Rudy” after a Round 1 bobble on “Boots.” Photo by Jamie Arviso

“Rudy is so forgiving and lets me execute,” Webb said. “He makes it really easy on me because I don’t have to worry about him. He always matches the speed of the calf.”

Webb plans to ride Rudy for the remainder of the NFR.

Riley Webb’s “Rudy.”

The mental side of Riley Webb

When the world championship is his to lose, Webb’s mental game needs to be in tip-top shape.  

“You can’t think about the fact you’re winning the world,” Webb said. “You show up and beat the calf—you’re not roping against the other guys. I’m roping against myself and telling myself I wanted to be in this position.”

Webb explained he’d put himself in high-pressure situations “a million times” in his mind. Roping at the Thomas & Mack with Trevor Brazile and Cody Ohl roping behind him.

“I focus on living in the moment and having fun,” Webb said. “I rope for a living, and $30,000 a night, that’s life-changing. You’ve got to have fun and let it all hang out.”

Putting his own words of living in the moment into practice, Webb stood in the box with Round 3 team roping champion header Coleman Proctor.

“He was saying, ‘Alright Coleman, calm down. Deep breath, we’re good,’” Webb recalled. “And more people need to be like that. Have fun because we might not get tomorrow. You’ve got to get up in the morning and live in the moment.”

Webb’s Round 3 win is another feather in the hat for the 2022 Resistol Rookie of the Year, season earnings record holder and current world standings leader.

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NFR calf roping coverage is supported by Rattler Rope.