This weekend has been highly anticipated for months after the announcement that a newly formed rodeo association ad attached themselves to the fan-friendly Professional Bull Riders organization to bring fans even more rodeo action throughout the year. As the inaugural performance of the World Champions Rodeo Alliance drew near everyone in Las Vegas could tell that something big was about to take place much like the feeling we get when we go to Arlington, Texas for the Iron Cowboy/RFD-TV’s The American each year as all see what history-making moments they can witness live. Things started earlier this weekend with the PBR’s Last Cowboy Standing event which was followed by two days of pure championship rodeo action with the WCRA! Many traditions would be changed that would make this two-day event something that will not soon be forgotten!
As round one was set to begin, the fans watching live inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena along with those watching at home exclusively on the Ride Pass digital platform were introduced to just over fifty of the top rodeo athletes in the world, carrying even more world titles onto the arena floor. Once the action began and the format was discussed, the excitement that this event brought to the sport of professional rodeo as astounding as they aimed to carry its athletes to the forefront much like other professional associations. This weekend had the same caliber of rodeo athletes that the RFD-TV’s The American brings to the richest one-day rodeo in western sports history as each event champion would receive a cool $25,000 cash prize along with a belt buckle and the title of being the first ever World Champions Rodeo Alliance event champion!
Hailey Kinsel Competes At The Inaugural WCRA Event In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Throughout the historic two-day event rodeo fans were able to watch contestants compete in all seven of the traditional professional rodeo events alongside others that have been deemed the best in the world at what they do! During Saturday afternoon’s round one, eight competitors competed in each event in hopes of earning anyone of the top four scores or times that would be needed to be able to advance to Sunday afternoon’s action to determine who would walk out of Las Vegas just a little bit richer. As things started off with a bang, the boys of the bareback riding would ignite the fire as all others would keep that same flame burning as we all watched the best in the world do what they love to do inside of the iconic Thomas & Mack Arena for the very first time under the WCRA letters.
Round one would cut the field that would advance into round two in half as only the top four athletes in their respective events would move forward into day number two Sunday afternoon. While we all watched event after event conclude a shift of traditional alignment of events would make us take a moment to re-think what was going on as the ladies of professional barrel racing would take center stage a little earlier than normal. many would think that since this event was taking place in the Thomas & Mack that the start for these ladies would be much the same as what we would see at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo but that would not quite be the case. This weekend, the girls would see a wider and longer alleyway along with a longer pattern once they entered the arena but that would not stop the sensational Hailey Kinsel that would continue to have lady luck on her side in Las Vegas that began at the National Finals Rodeo just a few short months ago!
Jose Vitor Leme Has A Busy Weekend In Vegas While Competing In The WCRA Event
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Once all of the qualifying action was concluded, it was time for the best of the best to battle each other in a format like we have ly seen a handful of times throughout different rodeo performances that would lead to an electrifying finale on Sunday afternoon. The day began with the top four contestants in each event from round one facing off against each other to see who would ake the final cut to compete for the $25,000 cash prize in each of the seven events. As the contestants went through their usual ritual routines they would be more than ready to put it all on the line after all previous scores and times would be erased giving each of them a new slate to start with. After all was concluded in the fatal four way rounds each event would once again be dwindled down to the final two shootout, but that is where everything changed and the rules of the game took a different turn.
Before the final round of two could begin their preparations for battle there was some unfinished business that needed to take place first with the new and historic draw format that would be new to each of these athletes here this weekend. For the draw, the top contestant in each event would have the choice of either picking their animal opponent or simply picking in what position they would prefer to begin in, leaving the other for their opponent to pick, giving each of the athletes a little bit of say in the outcome. That being said, obviously in the barrel racing the only choice the women would have is if they wanted to run first or second and of course with Lisa Lockhart coming in in the number one spot she chose to take the first run of the final round, leaving the question as to if that was the right pick or not.
After all was said and done, the fans inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena and those watching at home were about to witness history as eight professional rodeo athletes would walk out to the arena floor for a historic moment for the western lifestyle industry. After two days of intense rodeo action, it was time to crown the first ever World Champions Rodeo Alliance Helldorado Days Event Champions while making history, sending out over $400,000 of prize money over the weekend’s festivities. Along with earning the inaugural title, each of the eight contestants would walk out of Las Vegas with a beautiful custom-made belt buckle and a nice $25,000 check to line their pocketbooks a little better heading into the summer professional rodeo run. All of us at the Rodeo Round Up would like to say a huge congratulations to each of the contestants here this weekend and to those lucky eight that can now be called WCRA Champions!
Event Champion Breakdown:
Richmond Champion (Bareback) Clay Smith & Paul Eaves (Team Roping)
Kyle Irwin (Steer Wrestling) Cort Scheer (Saddle Bronc Riding)
Marty Yates (Tie-Down Roping) Hailey Kinsel (Barrel Racing)
Jose Vitor Leme (Bull Riding)
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