IFYR contestant Riley Webb has opportunity to become millionaire

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star

With a rope in hand Riley Webb has the opportunity to soon be a millionaire.

The tie-down roping contestant excelled Monday night in the 2021 International Finals Youth Rodeo at the Shawnee Expo Center.

Success is a day at the office for the 17-year-old Denton, Texas resident and such was the case Monday as he posted the top time with a 7.8-second effort in the tie-down competition (also known as the calf roping event). The time was the fourth best in the history of the IFYR, heading into Tuesday's completion of the opening rounds.

However, that performance is just a blip in Webb's wheelhouse of achievements.

More:International Finals Youth Rodeo underway in Shawnee

Webb is in position to earn the World Champions Rodeo Alliance Triple Crown in which $1 million is awarded to any rodeo athlete of any age who wins three straight WCRA majors. He has two consecutive majors victories after capturing the tie-down event at “Stampede at the E” at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie last summer. He followed that up recently with another first-place finish at Rodeo Corpus Christi in Texas.

Now Webb is gearing up for the WCRA's Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City, June 20-24. Should Webb come out victorious on June 24, he will be the youngest cowboy millionaire on record.

Riley Webb, of Denton, Texas competes in the tie-down roping event Monday night at the International Finals Youth Rodeo at the Shawnee Expo Center. Webb's time of 7.8 seconds was the fourth-best in the history of the IFYR.

“It's crazy. People rope their whole life and to be able for it to come down to this and just one calf is unreal,” said Webb, who wrangled his first calf off a horse at the age of either 5 or 6. “I've always had a rope in my hand.”

The rope seemingly is a part of Webb's anatomy.

“I didn't get serious until I was 12 or 13, but I've always had a rope in my hand. It's a part of me,” Webb said.

He played catcher on his 10-12 year-old select baseball team.

“At 12, I got serious about roping and realized I needed to put my all into baseball or all into roping,” said Webb, who picked roping but said baseball played a role in developing his skills. “Playing baseball helped with my hand and eye coronation...flanking and tying.”

More:Roster set for this week's $250K IFYR, more than 900 entries set for Shawnee rodeo

Obviously, putting in extensive time with his craft has led to success.

“I think what helped is I started at a young age and was put in high pressure situations for so long. With that it's come down to another day at the office and having that adrenaline,” Webb said. “It was a lot of late nights ropin' dummies and ropin' calves. I spent time watching old NFR tapes. By watching everybody, you can always learn something.”

Webb credits his father Dirk Webb and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Clint Cooper with much of his success.

Riley was exposed to rodeo and roping through Dirk staging rodeos and roping events.

“Clint helped me a lot when I first got started,” said Riley, who just completed his junior year of high school.

The IFYR is the final event before Riley goes to Salt Lake City.

“I will try to get dialed in this week and then go home and practice,” Riley said. “This is a good opportunity to come out here and get some exposure.”

Riley chalks everything up to being a blessing.

“I'm very blessed that God has given me the talent to do this and do it good,” said Riley.