Paul David Tierney Wins Timed Event Championship

The 24-year-old cowboy from South Dakota wins the 2014 'Ironman of Rodeo' title at Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Lazy E Arena

Paul David Tierney, a 24-year-old cowboy from Oral, South Dakota, roped, tied and wrestled 25 animals in 332.3 seconds to win the 2014 Timed Event Championship of the World at the Lazy E Arena. (Credit: Courtesy of Lazy E Arena)

There’s a changing of the guard at the Timed Event Championship of the World.

Paul David Tierney, a 24-year-old cowboy from Oral, South Dakota, roped, tied and wrestled 25 animals in 332.3 seconds to win his first gold buckle, the fifth Timed Event title for his family. His father, Paul, earned four championships over nearly three decades of competition.

“My mom says I used to play around back there, so I guess I was pretty young the first time I came here,” said Tierney, who earned $60,000 over three days of competition – $50,000 for winning the average and another $10,000 for having the fastest go-round, a 49.0. “I had a ton of fun this weekend.”

The younger Tierney is still playing inside the Lazy E Arena, but he’s doing it in the arena instead of behind the scenes. It came down the final steer of the competition to decide the championship of the “Ironman of ProRodeo.” Tierney, who had led since the third round, relinquished his advantage in the 24th run of this rugged test when he posted an 18.9-second steer wrestling run, just moments after his nearest competitor, 22-year-old Clay Smith, had scored a 5.7.

Smith took a 1.8-second lead into steer roping. When Tierney finished in 20.2 seconds, the championship was well within reach for the youngest competitor in this year’s field. Smith, though, broke the barrier on a 13.6-second run; that 10-second penalty pushed his time to 23.6 and pushed him to second place, finishing in a cumulative time of 333.9 seconds.

“I love the Timed Event,” said Smith of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. “I tried not to get in a hurry on anything, then I break the barrier. I should’ve been a little smarter than that.”

It overshadowed an amazing performance by the top young guns in the competition. With past champions K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyoming, and Daniel Green of Oakdale, California, among the top five, the top three cowboys all were relative newcomers to this unique contest: third-place finisher Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne, Oregon, is just 27 years old.

“You just have to keep your head,” Tierney said. “Even when it gets a little tight, just go make your run and see what happens.”

For the colts in Matt Koch's string, life as a cow horse begins working the rope. Learn more insight from Wagonhound Land & Livestock's world champion trainer in the March American Quarter Horse Journal.

That’s the key to the Timed Event. The winner each year typically is the contestant who made the fewest mistakes through the five rounds of competition. By finishing second, Smith pocketed $25,000. Cardoza added $24,000 – $15,000 for his third-place finish, $5,000 and $4,000 for finishing third and fourth in the fastest rounds.

Not only are Tierney, Smith and Cardoza the future of the competition, they bring an educated approach to their games.

“This might get some more young guys working on their stuff,” Tierney said of the strong run by the younger contestants. “I think it’s great for it.”

He becomes just the 12th man in the 30-year history of the Timed Event Championship to own the prestigious gold buckle. His name will be etched alongside his father and the other 10 winners in rodeo lore.

A portion of the proceeds from the 2014 Timed Event Championship will be donated to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. In addition, Priefert Ranch & Rodeo Equipment, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Lazy E auctioned off a Customized Priefert Roping Chute that was used in this year's competition to the highest bidder of the weekend – the auction raised $2,350 that will be donated to the Rodeo Historical Society. The Lazy E is proud to support this institution for western preservation.

And new for 2014, the Lazy E hosted the First Annual TEC Chuckwagon Cook-Off Competition that was won by Diamond W Ranch, from Ryan, Oklahoma.


1. Paul David Tierney, 332.3 seconds, $50,000 2. Clay Smith, 333.9, $25,000
3. Russell Cardoza, 344.2, $15,000
4. K.C. Jones, 350.9, $10,000
5. Daniel Green, 390.9, $7,500
6. Clayton Hass, 404.7, $5,000
7, Dustin Bird, 408.8, $4,500
8. Landon McClaugherty, 425.4, $3,000.

1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0, $10,000 2. Erich Rogers, 52.5. $6,000
3. Russell Cardoza, 54.6, $5,000
4. Russell Cardoza, 55.9, $4,000
5. K.C. Jones, 56.7, $3,000
6. Trell Etbauer, 56.8, $2,000.

RECORD RUN: Spencer Mitchell, 4.3 seconds in heading, $3,000.

TOTAL PAYOUT ($153,000.00):
1. Paul David Tierney, $60,000
2. Clay Smith, $25,000
3. Russell Cardoza, $24,000
4. K.C. Jones, $13,000
5. Daniel Green, $7,500
6. Erich Rogers, $6,000
7. Clayton Hass, $5,000
8. Dustin Bird, $4,500
9. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Spencer Mitchell, $3,000 11. Trell Etbauer, $2,000.