The Kamikaze Kid, Rob Smets
If you follow the sport of professional bull riding, or rodeo by that means, the name of this week’s guest is cemented into your minds as one of the best in the business. The Kamikaze Kid, Rob Smets, has had a legendary career inside of the arena but has not come without its heartache and losses. Although Smets’ career was full of devastating injuries he would not have it any other way. Known within the professional circles as one of, if not, the best cowboy protector and freestyle bull fighter in the history of the sport. The Rodeo Round Up: Unplugged is very honored to be able to bring you the chance to get to know this cowboy just a little bit better and let you into his personal life of what it is like away from the arena after his retirement.
Rob Smets completed many years perfecting his craft of putting his life on the line to save his fellow cowboys, knowing that was his calling in life all along. His career ended in the grandest fashion that it could end in while being names a Dickies Dura-Bullfighter for the Professional Bull Riders World Finals numerous times over. Although not getting his start in rodeo until half way through his high school years Rob has not looked back since. Over the years this legend has obtained 5 World Championships and has gained the utmost respect from his peers inside the arena, both bull riders and bull fighters, the same. With all the championships come devastating injuries as well and Smets has had his fair share of his. In 1992 and again in 1996 he suffered what was thought to be career ending injuries but ignored all the advice and continued on in his career. These career ending injuries that we talk about are broken necks, each time different areas, that he ignored as long as he could. in 1992 he broke his C4-5-6 vertebrae but went on to ignore the pain to win a World Championship in 1994. His second broken neck was suffered in 1996 when he broke his C-1 vertebrae but continued to fight and was a yearly feature of every Professional Bull Riders World Finals from 1997 to the end of his career.
Rob Smets and legendary bull rider Gary Leffew
While Rob Smets is regarded as one of the best bull fighters in the world and the history of the business his career inside the arena had to come to an end at some point. Even though he is “retired” from his rodeo career this legend just still has the itch to teach all the young up and coming superstars what he has learned throughout his career to carry on the legacy or the “Kamikaze Kid.” Many times throughout the year Rob Smets conducts one of his bull fighting schools all across the world, not just in the United States. He has teamed up with legendary bull rider Gary Leffew to put on a list of schools that are like no other. As you can imagine, these schools fill up extremely fast and are highly sought after so if you want to attend one of these schools, on either side, make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming dates to be able to learn from two of the very best in the business.
One of Rob Smets’ top moments in his career was win he was the inaugural recipient of the Jim Shoulders Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented to him by the Professional Bull Riders organization in 2011. Along with this award we talk about what were some of his other career highlights.
We also find out what the Kamikaze Kid is up to know that he is out of the spotlight of the professional bull riding and rodeo circuits. You will be surprised to find out where his life path has taken him up to today. Remember he has sustained broken necks that should have ended his career early on but Smets is not one to lay down. This is his mindset still today as you find out on this week’s edition of the Rodeo Round Up: Unplugged below. By the end of his interview I hope you are inspired to start looking life in the eye each and every day and always look for the positive in all situations! You can also stay in touch with what he is up to and when and where you can see him in person by following his facebook page by clicking here!
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