The Elite Rodeo Athletes, a new pro rodeo association that includes 23-time world champion Trevor Brazile, has scheduled its inaugural finals for Nov. 11-13 in Dallas.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 11-12 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 13 at American Airlines Center.
The ERA finals will feature an array of high-profile riders such as three-time tie-down roping world champion Tuf Cooper and former world barrel racing champion Fallon Taylor. They will vie for $1 million in prize money.
The first-year organization was designed to feature high-profile riders such as Brazile, Cooper and Taylor throughout the regular season. The ERA also will conduct a qualifying event this weekend at Dallas’ Fair Park Coliseum that will allow aspiring rodeo athletes to earn a berth in the Nov.11-13 finals where they will take the name competitors.
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This weekend’s show, which is called a Dual Qualifier, also will help competitors earn a berth in the RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals, which is scheduled for Feb. 15-17 at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum.
More prize money
The 2017 RFD-TVs The American is scheduled for Feb. 19 at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium and will offer competitors $2.5 million, a record payout for a single performance rodeo. The first three editions offered $2 million.
During the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions, aspiring athletes who earned a berth through the qualifier system to ride against high-profile athletes, were eligible for a $1 million “sidepot” that came from within the $2 million total purse. But during the 2017 edition, the sidepot will be a record $1.5 million that will be within the $2.5 million purse.
College rodeo update
After winning the Texas Tech Rodeo last weekend, Tarleton State is ranked No. 1 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region men’s team title race.
Tarleton has earned 2,212.33 points throughout the regular season. Western Texas is ranked No. 2 with 1,430.
Tarleton’s women’s team is ranked No. 1 in the regional team standings after earning 1,230 points by finishing second in Lubbock. Eastern New Mexico is ranked No. 2 with 1,070.
The Texas Tech Rodeo was the fifth of 10 regional rodeos scheduled for the 2016-2017 regular season.
The Professional Bull Riders’ 23rd annual World Finals is set for Wednesday through Sunday at Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena. Kaique Pacheco, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, will enter the championships ranked No. 1 in the world title race.