By the time Clay turned fifteen he was winning consistently and often being turned away from local jackpots because ropers didn’t want to compete against him. Getting a driver’s license the following year coupled with his consistent winnings enabled Clay to travel and compete more.
The following year Clay made the move to Arizona, to be near his father, and started roping for a living while learning to make it on his own. He was truly living his dream and pursued it with a driving force. He recognized he needed to learn how to handle pressure, the importance of riding better horses and the need to continually improve.
His goal was to win a world championship and the cowboys he roped with all shared the same goal. They gained confidence as they progressed through the amateur rodeos and jackpots. Soon, once again, Clay found himself repeatedly banned from jackpots where ropers did not want to compete against him. This limited his earning potential and resulted in Clay joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1981 where he qualified for the National Finals the same year.
Over the years Clay has qualified for 29 National Finals and won seven world titles. In 2007 he became the tenth rodeo competitor to surpass $2 million in career earnings.
Events: Team Roping (Heeling), Steer Roping
Born: 5/6/1961 Ray, Ariz.
Joined PRCA: 1979
PRCA Career Earnings: $2,912,435.00
World Titles Won: 7 (1985-89,1992, 1994)
WNFR Qualifications: 29 (1981-95, 1997-98, 2000-04, 2006-08, 2012-15)
Current Residence: Gardnerville, Nev.
• Won Rounds 2 and 4 and split the win in Round 5 at the Wrangler NFR, placing in five total rounds
• Won Rodeo Austin (Texas), with Derrick Begay
• Won the Wrangler Champions Challenge (Logandale, Nev.), with Aaron Tsinigine
• 2014: Won Round 6 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in a time of 4.0 seconds with Aaron Tsinigine and then placed in rounds 7-10 to finish third in the average standings and jump from 14th place to fifth in the final world standings with $145,766. Won the Lynden (Wash.) PRCA Rodeo, with Chad Masters. Co-champion at the Sheridan (Wyo.) WYO Rodeo, with Chad Masters
• 2013: Placed in three rounds of the Wrangler NFR with Justin Van Davis; finished 15th in the world standings with $88,179. Won the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), with Aaron Tsinigine. Won the Clark County Fair & Rodeo (Logandale, Nev.) and the Molalla (Ore.) Buckeroo Rodeo, with Justin Van Davis
• 2012: (Partner Chad Masters) Placed in five rounds en route to winning the Wrangler NFR average title in 73.4 seconds on 10 head; it was his fourth NFR average title, tying him for third on the all-time list. Finished second in the world standings with $189,666, just $1,131 behind Jade Corkill. Won the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo; the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede; the Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up; the Walla Walla (Wash.) Frontier Days and the Norco (Calif.) Mounted Posse Rodeo
Horse Supai Drifter (nicknamed Ike) finished second in the PRCA/AQHA Team Roping Heel Horse of the Year voting in 2004
6-0, 200 … Wife, Alisa (married 2004); daughters, Bailey, Quinn … Made his acting debut in the John Wayne film The Cowboys (1972) when he was 11 years old, portraying Hardy Fimps; worked in film and television through 1976, including roles in Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Marcus Welby, M.D, Cahill U.S. Marshal (www.imdb.com/name/nm0639475/#Actor) and One Little Indian