Once again the World’s Toughest Rodeo has made its winter run back to St. Paul, Minnesota for the second to final event of the 2017 season. As the season winds down there is one event remaining, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, next weekend for these rodeo athletes to earn some money to put into their pockets as the winter break comes to a close. This weekend has been one for the record books here in St. Paul as the ownership was turned over to the Three Hills Pro Rodeo crew and Dave Morehouse.
This off-season change has given rodeo fans in Minnesota something to be excited about as the bareback riding and saddle bronc riding events have turned into qualifiers for the RFD-TV’s The American Semi-Finals. That being said, many of the top riders from the PRCA and ERA come together for their shot at going to Ft. Worth in two weeks time. The professional rodeo talent that was here this weekend far out-weighed what we have seen over the last several years.
Cody Demoss Rides At The St. Paul World’s Toughest Rodeo
Photo Credit: Denise Hetland Photography
For the first time in many years the loyal rodeo fans that come to see the World’s Toughest Rodeo each and every year saw many Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and go-round winners compete right before their very eyes in Minnesota. The action here at the Xcel Energy Center this weekend had the feeling of being in Las Vegas and the Thomas & Mack Arena watching the best in the business go at it in their quest to obtain a gold buckle. The buzz around town was huge and the crowds did not disappoint either.
Fans in attendance here this weekend had to honor of witnessing one of the greatest saddle bronc riders in the history of the sport perform. Cody “Hot Sauce” DeMoss is a household name within the sport and gives each and every fan the time that they need to feel special. This 2-million dollar cowboy has made 12 Wrangler National Finals appearances and has won the WNFR average title one time since joining the PRCA back in 2000. This cowboy came in hot with a 2nd place finish on Friday night and has his sights set on the RFD-TV’s The American Semi-Finals in Ft. Worth, Texas!
Will Lowe Puts On A Show In St. Paul, MN
Photo Credit: Denise Hetland Photography
Another exciting addition to this year’s event is that of the 2002 Professional Cowboy Rodeo Association’s Rookie of the Year, Will Lowe. The only other bareback rider to have a more celebrated career than Lowe is another cowboy that is here this weekend, Bobby Mote. Lowe became a member of the Elite Rodeo Athletes organization in 2016, thus, missing the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time since he joined the PRCA back in 2002. If the excitement of that alone does not spark your interest I don’t know what would.
Friday night was a night where dreams came true for the sold out crowd inside of the Xcel Energy Center as the action began and the fight for the RFD-TV’s The American qualification began. Once things were all said and done it was the match-up of the ages as Will Lowe and close friend and rival Bobby Mote squared off in the Jack Daniels Short Round Chute Out round. Mote would come out on top but both he and Will Lowe gave the fans what they were looking for heading into Saturday night’s action.
Professional Bull Jumper Manu Lataste Performs Last Weekend
Photo Courtesy Of Manu Lataste
Along with all of the fantastic rodeo entertainment that the Three Hills Pro Rodeo crew brought to the Xcel Energy Center when the 2017 World’s Toughest Rodeo came to St. Paul also came some exciting specialty acts. These two acts left the crowd on the edge of their seats wanting more as the intermission entertainment began. Along with two very talented trick riders came a young man from France that made history as he stepped into the arena for the first time ever here in St. Paul.
The only professional bull jumper in the world, Manu Lataste, was absolutely amazing and gave the sold out fans all that they could handle over the two nights of action. The heroic feats that this man has left everyone in awe of his God-given talent that he displayed which is a tradition in his home country. I had the opportunity to catch up with him Saturday night prior to his performance to learn a little more about this extraordinary athlete and found out how and why he chose this path in life. See what he has to say in the short interview below!
Once the rodeo action was finished it was time for country music superstars Parmalee to take the stage and bring the weekend’s festivities to a close. That being said, after two night’s of extreme rodeo action here in St. Paul, Minnesota it is time to look ahead one week as the World’s Toughest Rodeo returns to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Next weekend will be the last chance for these cowboys to qualify for the RFD-TV’s The American so it should be an action packed weekend with many of the top rodeo athletes competing for their spot in Ft. Worth! To see photos of this weekend’s action check out our photo gallery HERE and watch all of the interviews from this weekend’s event on our youtube channel by clicking HERE!
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