Beginning Tuesday, the top cowboys and cowgirls will begin their run at the $50,000 top prize delivered to the winners in each event of RodeoHouston, one of the biggest events each year.
This year, though, it will not be part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the top sanctioning body in the sport. However, it will be sanctioned by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Bull Riders, which will have five athletes – Reese Cates of El Dorado, Ark.; Cord McCoy of Ada, Okla.; Dusty LaBeth of Louisburg, Kan.; 2001 Chance Roberts of Jewett, Ill.; and Fabiano Vieira of Perola, Brazil – in the field, having earned their place by being in the top five of non-seeded money-earners in the PBR, meaning they were not seeded in the Built Ford Tough Series.
So money earned at Houston will count toward qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the barrel racers and for the PBR World Finals.
With $50,000 going to the winner of Houston’s Shootout, there is plenty of incentive for everyone who has entered, but the qualifications for the world championships are a bigger piece of the prize puzzle for WPRA and PBR members.
Forty contestants (or tandems in team roping) in each event of the men’s events – bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding – while there will be 50 barrel racers. The bracketed format will feature eight cowboys in each event and 10 barrel racers in each of five Super Series. The top money-earners in each event through the three rounds of each Super Series advance.
It’ll be quite interesting to see how things break down. Check back here, and I’ll try to keep you posted on the happenings inside Reliant Stadium.