As fans take in next month’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, they can expect to watch numerous money records fall.
That’s because the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association has negotiated a lucrative new contract that will last for 10 years. Under the new agreement, the NFR’s total purse has jumped from $6.375 million to $10 million.
The 2015 NFR is scheduled for Dec. 3-12 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.
For the first time, each contestant in each event will be awarded $10,000 that will go toward their world title race earnings at the beginning of the rodeo.
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Defending world all-around champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur will receive $20,000 up front as the result of being the only competitor who has qualified in two events — tie-down roping and team roping heading.
The NFR traditionally features 10 rounds. Last year, a round winner received $19,002 in each event. But this year, each winner will make $26,230.
That means a competitor can conceivably earn more than $100,000 by winning the first four performances.
Last year, the average winner in each event (the competitor who finished with the best aggregate time or score after 10 rounds) earned $48,731. This year, the average winner will garner $67,269.
I’ve talked to some of my friends who have made it [to the NFR] before me, and they say that it’s one of the toughest things you’ll ever do. But there’s a lot of money up for grabs there, and it’s an accomplishment that basically everybody that’s ever rodeoed has dreamt about, kind of the top-notch dream come true.
Bareback rider Tanner Aus talking to the
After five days of open division competition at the National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity, only one rider has been marked in the 220s.
Matt Miller of Poolville turned in a 220 on Amandas CD at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Veteran Roy Carter is second in the first round with a 219 aboard Pepto’s Scootin Man. Phil Hanson, the Futurity’s defending open division champion, posted a 218.5 on A Smooth Satin Doll.
Lindy Burch, who in 1980 became the first woman to win the Futurity’s open division title, had a 218 on Bet Shes Smooth. Burch also had a 217 on Salsa Style.
The first round began Thursday and will conclude its six-day run Tuesday. The second round runs Wednesday through Friday. The semifinal is Dec. 11, and the final is Dec. 12.
The Futurity’s open division winner will receive $200,000.
The NCHA’s Open and Non-pro World Finals begin Friday at W.R. Watt Arena. The other three performances are scheduled for Saturday, and Dec. 3 and Dec. 5.
In the open division, Special Nu Baby and rider Matt Gaines lead the world title race with $103,034. Smart Stingrey and Mike Wood are second with $63,374.
In the non-pro division, Joe Howard Williamson is No. 1 with $90,512. Throughout the season, he has ridden Nutn Buta Houndog, Woodys Bad Boy, One Time Shorty, Acatbequick and Sweet Little Cats.
Mary Jo Milner is No. 2 with $60,142. She has ridden Smooth Asa Zee throughout the year.