They call the Fort Worth Super Shootout “the next generation of rodeo,” and even seasoned insiders like Pam Minick agree.
“I tell people, ‘If you’re going to go to only one rodeo performance a year, go to this one,’” said Minick, a rodeo commentator who will interview on the spot the barrel racers and steer wrestlers who make it into the finals. “You’re going to see, in one night, the top athletes in rodeo ride twice.”
The shootout, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, was designed for seasoned and nonseasoned rodeo fans alike.
Last year’s champions from eight rodeos will compete in bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling. During the final round, riders get to pick from the bucking stock or choose their positions for barrel racing and steer wrestling.
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The animals are often National Finals Rodeo stock, and the contestants are top Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competitors.
Minick and former World Champion All-Around Cowboy Dave Appleton will interview competitors from the floor before the final round.
“Even for seasoned rodeo fans, they get to hear what’s going on in these guys’ minds,” she said. “They will tell you what they’ve chosen and why.”
Contestants will compete for a $100,000 purse and will represent the rodeo organization from which they were a previous champion. They will not be competing for PRCA points, so their individual season standings will not be affected.
“I might know the horses and bulls, but I might not know what fits each rider,” Minick said “One rider might feel more comfortable riding a bull that goes to the left, so he would pick one that tends to buck to the left.”
The competitions have a strong team concept, she said, and “there’s a geographic layer, too, if you’re a big Calgary Stampede fan or a Houston Rodeo fan.”
Last year’s Fort Worth Rodeo champions will be mixing it up with champs from Rodeo Austin, Rodeo Houston, San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, Reno Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days and Calgary Stampede.
Each of the eight contestants per event will compete once, with the four fastest times or highest scores advancing to the championship shootout.
Now in its second year, the event joins the specialty rodeos that have been popular additions to the Stock Show calendar in recent years. They include the Best of the West Ranch Rodeo, the Best of Mexico Celebracion, the Cowboys of Color Invitational Rodeo and Bull’s Night Out.
The shootout brings out the sports fan in anyone, Minick said.
“Last year what I saw was the camaraderie,” she said. “The finalists were gigging each other; it’s kinda like talking smack.”
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657
If you go
▪ Tickets are $25 each.
▪ The rodeo ticket office is at 3401 W. Lancaster Ave.
▪ To order by phone with a credit card, call 817-877-2420.
▪ Rodeo ticket office hours are Sunday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Feb. 7.