The National Finals Rodeo is the culmination of a season of thrills and excitement in the Professional Rodeo Association (PRCA). To many observers and industry experts, this is the world’s foremost and premier rodeo championship. Think of the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) as the Super Bowl of Rodeo – that is how big it is.
The championship holds at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas every December, where the best and brightest of the rodeo compete for ultimate glory and the top prize. The world’s best barrel racers, cowboys and livestock have been showcased in the championship every year since 1985.
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How Does Wrangler NFR Work?
The National Finals Rodeo brings together the best fifteen contestants of the regular season in several tournaments such as Justin Boots Playoffs & Championship. The fifteen top-earning stars during the regular season of the following competitions compete in the Wrangler NFR:
- Bareback riding
- Team roping (headers and heelers)
- Tie-down roping
- Barrel racing
- Steer wrestling and
- Saddle-bronc riding
- Bull riding
For the bull riding competition, the top fifteen contestants are mostly drafted from the regular season of the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour. The journey to the Las Vegas NFR is a year-long affair for the stars that compete in the championship.
It is perfect close to the months of adrenaline rush mixed with an incredible level of energy and technique – an epic showdown.
How Do Winners Emerge?
The winner of the Wrangler NFR is determined by using the aggregate earnings of the year. What does this mean? After the conclusion of the finals itself, the overall winner is determined by adding the earnings before the NFR to the earnings during the Wrangler NFR.
This system ensures that consistency is favored over outliers – a contestant with huge earnings during the NFR may not necessary, be the best performer during the course of the regular season.
If the overall winner is based only on earnings made during the WNFR season, contestants with modest earnings during the regular season but huge earnings may emerge overall winner as against a contestant with consistent high earnings throughout the regular season and the final rodeo.
How Does the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo?
The Wrangler NFR is a series of 10 rounds holding for 10 consecutive days. The fifteen cowboy contestants and barrel racers compete in a round and earn money by placing first to sixth in each round. CBS Sports will air the Wrangler NFR live broadcast.
A contestant also picks up bonus money for placing between first and eighth in the average – the average refers to the cumulative points/times earned during all the 10 rounds.
The NFR has two champions for every event, except the team roping events that has four; the first champion is the average winner who is the champion of the Wrangler NFR itself.
The second champion is the overall World Champion who earned the most in the year – the contestant with the most earnings during the regular season and Las Vegas NFR. In some years, the two champions can be the same person. For other years, it is different people emerging as champions.
Details for this Year’s Championship
Date: December 5-14
Venue: Thomas and Mack Arena, Las Vegas.
The perfect grand finale to a year of drama and pure thrills.
This is Shelby Brunette a barrel racer who works at The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). She has been riding horses for the last 15 years and she loves rodeo as well as horses. Based on his experiences with rodeo she is sharing his opinion about National Finals Rodeo (NFR) so that Wrangler NFR fans can get date, time, tickets, results, TV schedule & updates. Find him on twitter here. Happy reading!