Dear WCRA Athletes,

Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks! We had three major events, including Rodeo Corpus Christi, The Women’s Rodeo World Championship, and the Inaugural Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo. In just 14 days, collectively, these events paid out a little over $2.3 million to athletes. In addition to all the excitement, we also witnessed barrel racer Stephanie Fryar compete to earn the final Triple Crown of Rodeo bonus. The WCRA Free Riders won the Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo, and we watched 21 ladies compete in WRWC for $60,000 each at AT&T Stadium in front of over 30,000 fans.

We encourage all of you to tune into our CBS Network broadcasts of these events in the next couple of week; Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo airs Sunday, May 26 at Noon and Rodeo Corpus Christi airs Sunday June 2, 2024. Check local listings for times.

This year, we kicked off a two-week rodeo extravaganza with Rodeo Corpus Christi at The American Bank Center. The event began by showcasing our WCRA youth and awarding another $55,000 to the WCRA Division Youth athletes. We are proud to have paid out nearly $1 million to these young rodeo athletes in less than three years. They have proven to have a very bright future.

The wild card and progressive rounds spanned over four days and advanced a field of seven in each discipline for the Championship Saturday. On this day, we witnessed barrel racer Stephanie Fryar and her horse Frank giving their all to win the Triple Crown of Rodeo. Stephanie would have been the first woman in rodeo to become an overnight millionaire if they had won. Although they fell short, this was an iconic moment for women in the sport and all barrel racers.

In December, we announced a change in focus from The Triple Crown of Rodeo format. This bonus program was intended to benefit the entire athlete community.  In it’s four year existence, five athletes were eligible, but only one athlete (RC Landingham) achieved the bonus. In addition and in this same vein, we will sunset the Reliance Ranches VRQ Bonus program after the 2024 Rodeo Carolina.

We are reallocating these resources in support of the collaboration with PBR on this new venture of Rodeo Teams, forming a rodeo team specifically from WCRA VRQ athletes. Unlike the other teams formed by Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo Draft, The Free Riders were established based on the results of Rodeo Corpus Christi. The top two from the event, not already drafted, qualified for the team this year. In the future, the goal is that WCRA Major events will serve as part of the qualifying process for the Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo platform.  More information on this will be coming soon. However, rest assured, success with WCRA and VRQ will now be rewarded through qualification to larger payouts – providing MORE athletes MORE direct opportunities to win MORE money.

I couldn’t have been more proud of the Free Riders team once assembled and coming off wins in Corpus Christi. Despite other teams having multiple world champions, we had heart, which was evident during Friday’s Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo. I’ve been a part of many rodeos, but this was by far the greatest one I’ve ever witnessed. The Free Riders’ victory came down to a race between 20-year-old Makenzie Mayes and 3-time NFR Qualifier Wenda Johnson. Mayes’ 18.80-second run beat Wenda’s 19.60-second run, securing the Free Riders a victory against The Misty Mountain Hop’s. For their win, the Free Riders earned $500,000, with each athlete and coach earning $27,778.

The energy is still hard to define, but I am proud to have been alongside the greatest group of rodeo athletes ever assembled on a team. Seeing the standing ovation in front of a sell-out crowd at AT&T Stadium was truly unforgettable.

Leading up to Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo, we hosted the Women’s Rodeo World Championship in Fort Worth and Arlington. The $750,000 WRWC was combined with the Cowgirl Gathering, making it a week-long event for women, with a total payout of $1.145 million.

This year, the women’s festival included some new additions. The event kicked off with a Gala and back number ceremony at Tannahill’s Tavern, which led into competition at the Cowtown Coliseum.

The World Champion races were exciting to watch. Congratulations to all the Pro and Challenger World Champions who earned a Montana Silversmith Gold Buckle and a $5,000 bonus for having the most cumulative points for the year. I want to congratulate Martha Angelone for capturing the No. 2 spot in the breakaway roping and the All-Around World Championships, winning a total of $26,000 in prize money. Also, congratulations to Makenzie Mayes for breaking the arena record with a lightning-fast 12.946 run.

The Women’s Rodeo Event Champions were crowned at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys alongside the 2024 PBR World Finals for the first time since 2020. Kindyl Scruggs, Kenna Francis, Whitney Desalvo, and 18-year-old Amy Ohrt were crowned event champions on a CBS Sports Network broadcast at AT&T Stadium in front of 30,000 fans. I am proud of the progress this event has made. In the coming days, you should receive a note from WRWC Commissioner Linsay Sumpter regarding the vision of the Women’s Rodeo Championship.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR), which will take place in Guthrie, Oklahoma from July 23 to 27. The top 16 Junior and Youth athletes in each discipline will qualify with no entry fees and be seeded directly into the Semi-Finals round of competition. Last year, over $407,000 was paid out, and we are looking to expand it this year. Any athletes (ages 10-19) not currently on the leaderboard are still eligible to enter through open entries on NextGen Rodeo until July 4, 2024 – tell your friends!

In October, we will head east once again to host Rodeo Carolina. This facility is a true resort destination for the equestrian industry, surrounded by exciting family entertainment activities, and is one of the most picturesque equestrian facilities in the country, located within the Blue Ridge Foothills. It was pretty amazing last year to see the rodeo and the horse-jumping worlds collide with multiple events at the facility the same weekend.

The October 2-5 event will pay over $400,000 and the champion in each event will qualify for the 2025 Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo.

Since our launch in 2018, WCRA has provided experience and opportunities to thousands of athletes worldwide. Following the 2024 RCC and WRWC events, $19.9 Million has been paid out to athletes. While some may believe that WCRA is primarily for professional athletes, our mission is much broader. WCRA supports all athletes – the up-and-coming, the seasoned pro, and those in the twilight of their career. We are extremely proud of what these athletes have achieved. Our events attract athletes of all skill levels and from diverse backgrounds, which is what makes the WCRA system so exceptional.

Thank you for participating in the WCRA platforms and events. When we say, ‘WCRA is all for rodeo,’ we mean it. You will be receiving “Post Event Athlete Surveys” soon for Rodeo Corpus and Women’s Rodeo as applicable.  Please complete those surveys as your opinion matters and provides direction for our future efforts. We’re here to offer opportunities and experiences for all skill levels to strengthen the sport. As always and otherwise, if you have any questions, feedback, or need help, please reach out to us at 833-213-9272 or call me directly at 541-520-2806.

We Appreciate You,

WCRA President Bobby Mote


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