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The Cowboy Capital of the World

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By Krista Lucas Wynn

It is hard to believe summertime is already over, which means the 2023 professional rodeo season is coming to a close. Each and every year it always comes down to the very last day, Sept. 30, for contestants qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. One of the last rodeos of the season is always the Cowboy Capital of the World pro rodeo, in Stephenville, Texas. This year, the annual event was Sept. 22-24, making its debut at a brand new venue.

Previously conducted at Lone Star Arena, this year’s pro rodeo was at the brand new fairgrounds, just five miles outside of town. It was the consensus with timed event and roughstock contestants alike that the new location was a welcomed change.

It goes without saying rodeo competitors want to be trending upward, not downward at this critical time of year. Bareback rider Kade Sonnier has been doing just that. The rookie, from Carencro, La., won the bareback riding at the Cowboy Capital of the World with a score of 84.5 on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Fox Hole Gunner for $1,545.

This moved him up into second in the world standings, with Leighton Berry hot on his heels. Berry was also right behind Sonnier in Stephenville with a score of 83 points for second place.
Overall, steer wrestling is a big brotherhood, and there is definitely quite a bit of shuffling going on toward the end of the rodeo season in the standings.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Women in Rodeo

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By Krista Lucas Wynn

As female sports come under fire in 2024, the same can not be said for the sport of rodeo. The western industry is not short of talented, strong cowgirls. The Women’s Rodeo World Championship, presented by the World Champions Rodeo Alliance and the Professional Bull Riders, is the world’s richest women’s rodeo with a guaranteed payout of $750,000.

The week-long event showcases women competing in barrel racing, breakaway roping and team roping. The WRWC is the culmination of professionals and challengers alike who have qualified by a point system, held May 13-18 at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the championship round is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Competitors are nominated at any event throughout the year to earn points leading up to the WRWC.

To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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The American

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By Krista Lucas Wynn

The American Western Weekend on March 8-9 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, was a weekend full of rodeo competition that fans looked forward to for the past 10 years. The night of the American rodeo is something cowboys and cowgirls have worked hard for, in order to have a chance to win a $1,000,000 prize.

The top five from the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo were invited to compete alongside five contenders. The invitees were vying for a $100,000 paycheck for first place, and if a qualifier won their event and was the only qualifier to do so, he or she walked away with $1,000,000.

In the bareback riding, Kade Sonnier, Keenan Hayes, Jess Pope, and Tilden Hooper made it out of the long round of 10 to advance to the final four-shootout round. WNFR qualifier, Sonnier, made a 90.5-point ride on Agent Lynx to win the $100,000.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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The Cowboy Culture

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By Phillip Kitts

The mystique and imagined glory of the rodeo road call many young people’s names. As they grow up, they watch the greats of the sport run from rodeo to rodeo and occasionally land on the television giving the perception of the rockstar lifestyle.

No, the glory of the rodeo road is not as grand as, say, the National Football League or the National Basketball Association, but being an athlete competing in front of the yellow chutes of Vegas is just as big a deal, and in every way, can be compared to competing in a Super Bowl.
However, things sure are different in the rodeo world. Let us take a minute and talk about what seem to be simple things in life that impact rodeo and rodeo athletes that in no way would make a difference to the big-money sports.

To read more, pick up a copy of the April issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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