RodeoChat Interview: 2015 College National Finals Bull Rider – Donaye Smith

12 Questions with 2015 College National Finals Rodeo Contestant, Donaye Smith

Question 1: Where are you joining us from tonight and who is your favorite bull riders?

Donaye Smith: I just gotten back home in Cheney, Washingtobull rider is Chris Shivers.

Question 2: What Rodeo Assocs/Circuits do you ride in? Are you a 1st generation, 2nd generation Rodeo Cowboy in your family?

Donaye Smith: I ride for the PRCA mostly Columbia River circuit, and the prof. Western rodeo assoc. I’m actually 1st Generation Rodeo cowboy.

Question 3: Do you travel the rodeo trail alone? Or do you have traveling buddies? If so – who?

Donaye Smith: This season I’ve travelled a lot by myself. When you are determined as hard as I am, it’s hard to find people that committed. I usually have my Aussie and beagle for company.

Question 4: What was your very first event that kicked off your 2015 Summer Run?

Donaye Smith: My first rodeo this year was in Elma, WA. It was a pro west, which I barely made it to because of my college rodeo the same day. I lead our college region for a lot of the season so that wasn’t the first time I had to hit multiple rodeos in one day. there are a lot of sacrifices you have to make when your on top, not always as glorious as it seems.

Question 5: Wow! A double-header.. How do you handle more than 2 or 3 rodeos a day?

Donaye Smith: You have to pretend that your not tired, and the hundreds of miles between them are nothing compared to winning them. I once drove up to Ellensburg for a college rodeo and then had to drive back to Mossyrock, WA for a pro rodeo 2 days in a row the rodeo was in the morning and the college rodeo was mid day. Over 600 miles of driving back and forth.

Question 6: You also had success recently by competing at the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo! Tell us a little bit about that?

Donaye Smith: The CNFR was amazing. Since it was my senior year, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a highlight of my career. I have competed at big rodeos, but this was more valuable to me because of how hard I worked in school. It meant more. I was lucky to get good bulls, but no cigar for me besides great memories and a moral boost.

Question 7: What’s your Cowboy Christmas run look like? Will you be hitting the road pretty hard?

Donaye Smith: I am going to try and hit the road as much as possible. But I like to hit a lot of rodeos as local as possible. I don’t care much to travel far. One may hit two rodeos and get 2 big checks while I hit four not as far and accumulate checks. I will be going back down to Cali, and head down to Texas and Arizona for some rodeos. Most guys can’t hit rodeos back to back like I can which allows me to make more rodeos in shorter time and travel.

Question 8: Wow! That’s pretty exciting!! Who will you travel the rodeo trail with in Texas?

Donaye Smith: With how far it is, it may be the first time this season I just hit up good ol Alaska airlines and make it easy on myself. In which it would just be me. Like I said it’s hard to find some as dedicated as I am to hit the rodeo trail. I want someone though. It does get boring, and it is definitely more fun with a partner. Usually local guys will travel with me, but not to big rodeos.

Question 8: How do you do it?

Donaye Smith: Eating healthy and working out, while also doing yoga keeps my stamina up for long runs. I came from the city and started at an older age, so I feel like I have to catch up to everyone else if I want to be the best and my mom raised me all by herself, and besides being an architect later on, bull riding has always been my dream. Making it big in bull riding allows me to give back to all my mom has done for me to be able to chase this dream. My motivation to go hard doesn’t come from the gold buckle, it comes from my background and my mother. Where I come from bull riding has allowed me to rise above that, and an opportunity for my mom to be proud.

Donaye Smith:  I use my tiffany made glove, my get twisted made bull rope to really spur one down. one thing many are amazed at is my beastmaster pro rodeo gear bag that I carry everything in. I love how innovative their bags are and makes getting ready much easier than a suitcase many riders use and of course I’m all about being flashy and standing out, and the best way to do that is with cinch shirts. they seem to always have the brightest colors and cool patterns that make me stand out from the rest. Gotta be different!

Question 10: In your eyes – What is a perfect bull ride to you?

Donaye Smith: The perfect bull ride is when I progress my skills. Win or lose, when I cover and I know I did the best I can, I am a winner. There was a hard bull at the CNFR, and even though I didn’t cover I was so proud of the moves I made on him. Made me hungry I always make sure that I learn from every ride. I am very hard on myself to make sure I do the best every ride I have. I want to always be progressing and getting better.

Question 11: Top 5 FAV bulls you’ve been on so far in your bull riding career?

Donaye Smith: 5. Get smacked (red knection) 4. High rise (gold buckle) 3. Flashpoint (frontier) 2. South paw 1. Black bart (mossyrock cc) . Most are pbr bulls, but there is also high rise and flashpoint that were pro west and PRCA bulls. I loved the rides. The hardest, the flashiest, and the best for my progression of my skills, I have encountered so far in this game.

Fan Questions Sent In:

Cowboy Coffee Chew: Why is bull riding such a passion and what are your plans after that ride ends?

Donaye Smith: I have always loved sport, and I just can’t think of something more awesome than a bull rider. It’s the toughest sport where men can become heroes and legends.. I want that for me and my family. My plans after and during rodeo is to start my architecture career with a firm designing zoos. It’s 1 out of 3 majors I have and I love animals and designing and it’s a passion I will pursue.

Paige Gregory

Mesquite, Tx


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