One of the most unique and lucrative events in rodeo history has upped the ante beginning in 2015.
For the first time in its 30-year history, the Timed Event Championship of the World will feature a $100,000 prize to its champion, increasing winner’s payout by $50,000.
“As owners of the Lazy E, the McKinney family has stepped up its support of not only the Lazy E as a whole but also our longest-running championship,” said Robert Simpson, director of events for the Lazy E. “This brings the TEC payout in line with other specialized events like RodeoHouston, the Calgary Stampede and The American.
“The Timed Event Championship was the first of its kind to offer a $50,000 prize to the winner, and the time has come to make the move and push our overall purse to $200,000.”
The Timed Event features the top 20 all-around cowboys in the world competing in each of the five timed-event disciplines in rodeo: heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping. They battle through five rugged go-rounds in order to decide the winner. The fastest cumulative time through the 25-run championship will win $100,000.
“Any time a cowboy can win more money, it’s good,” said Daniel Green, a three-time champion from Oakdale, Calif. “The Timed Event is not an easy deal to win; it’s really difficult. It takes so much that has to go right.
“My hat’s off to the owners for boosting financial support for the event. Being as tough as it is and a World Championship event, it should pay in that range.”
This past March, Paul David Tierney of Oral, S.D., became just the 12th cowboy to earn the coveted championship, joining his father, Paul Tierney, and a list of rodeo legends in the process. The younger Tierney realizes he will have a big target on his back when next season’s event takes place March 6-8.
“I bet there will be guys that will work on their other events to see if they can get into the Timed Event and chase that money,” he said. “That $100,000 is a pretty nice enticement to go after.”
Decades ago, many cowboys competed in multiple events, giving themselves every opportunity to win. As rodeo has evolved, most athletes focus on one discipline. That makes this unique championship even more of a draw for fans from across the country and for multi-talented contestants.
“I love being able to show my talent in multiple events, and then you have a chance at the huge prize money there – that’s just tremendous,” said Clayton Hass, who will compete for a fourth straight year in 2015. “It can be life-changing for people to win that much money. With $100,000, it might pull some other guys in there that are dang sure tough and might make it a little tougher. That’s awesome.
“They want the best guys there; they want it to be a show. It dang sure showcases a guy’s stamina, focus and being able to compete at a high level.”
That’s the key to Timed Event success. It is a grueling marathon that not only wears out the body but also the mind.
“It’s probably the hardest thing in rodeo to accomplish,” Green said. “This added money will hopefully make sure that these guys take the time and effort to get ready for the Timed Event Championship.”
Rest assured; they will be ready. There’s prestige, history and a huge payout on the line.
The Timed Event Championship is one of the most prestigious events in Western sports, and it was developed 31 years ago as a way to decide the greatest all-around timed-event cowboy. Its list of champions is a who’s who of rodeo’s greatest stars. The tradition continues March 6-8 and the fabulous Lazy E Arena. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Dec. 1.