The Fort Worth Stock Show's Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show thrives on featuring a very traditional look and feel for fans.
But this year, organizers have brought in a high-riding technological innovation called Score It!, which is part of the Stock Show's new smartphone application and allows fans to become armchair rodeo judges.
Immediately after a bronc or bull ride, fans can predict the score on their cellphones. Their markings are averaged, and a fans' score is posted on an electronic screen in the Will Rogers Coliseum. Within seconds, the judges' score flashes on an adjacent screen.
During the Stock Show's Monday matinee performance, for example, saddle bronc riding fans predicted that 2008 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Dusty Hausauer would receive a score of 78. Then, he received a 77 from the judges.
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But fans and judges were on the same page when two-time world champion Taos Muncy rode. Both sides scored Muncy a 74.
The Fort Worth Stock Show is the first PRCA competition to offer Score It! to fans.
One longtime fan who has utilized Score It! is state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth. During each performance, he and several friends each put up a dollar and have a scoring contest.
"It's fun to see who gets the closest," Geren said. "Rodeo needs to do this to increase audience participation."
All this has come about when the Stock Show recently released its app on the iTunes and Android markets. The free app, complete with a list of upgraded functions, now features the Score It! menu option.
Cal White, who helps manage Score It!, said an average of about 350 people per performance have participated. He said more than 500 have engaged in some of the two-hour shows.
"It's slowly building," White said. "It's an educational process."
Fans also can predict a competitor's time in the clocked competitions such as tie-down roping and steer wrestling, and fans can pull up information about the storied history of the Fort Worth rodeo and access pro competitors' biographies.
For more information, contact White at 817-877-2411 or visit fwssr.com.
Guilherme Marchi, who won the Professional Bull Riders world title in 2008, finished No. 1 at last weekend's Built Ford Tough Series tour stop in Sacramento, Calif., and he earned $36,541.
Defending world champion Silvano Alves of Decatur, who finished third at the Sacramento show, is ranked No. 1 in the 2013 Ford Series world standings.
The tour is scheduled to stop at Cowboys Stadium on March 2. For more information, visit www.pbr.com.
On the National Cutting Horse Association circuit, Fort Worth Pipeline and rider John Wold clinched the 5- and 6-year-old title at the Augusta (Ga.) Futurity with a score of 225. Owner Lisa Bankston earned $12,000.