By: Julia Dondero
These days, a single ride can make or break a season, and with recording-breaking payouts and historical opportunities, each performance counts. With large opportunities comes high-stakes decision-making and pressures for judges and athletes alike. Just ask bull rider Wyatt Covington, who took home an extra $1600 because of the World Champions Rodeo Alliance Instant Replay Review Challenge at WCRA events.
The Washington state native utilized the opportunity for instant review at the 2022 Cowtown Christmas Championship this past December in Fort Worth, Texas. Covington made a strong ride until he was bucked off at 7.78 seconds, just shy of a qualified ride and chance at advancing further in the event.
Covington explained, “The ride felt really good and I knew it would place me well until I was knocked off balance. The whistle felt long and I had seen PBR riders take advantage of the instant challenge, so I decided to as well. I knew it was a long shot but I’m glad I did.”
After further review, the Instant Replay judge reversed the call and Covington received a qualified ride and a score of 78. This new verdict allowed Covington to advance to the next round and take home an increased payout. Covington expressed his gratitude for the WCRA and expressed the positive impact the Instant Replay Review Challenge has made on him.
The Columbia River PRCA Circuit cowboy explained his seasons have been spoiled with injuries since his 2019 circuit championship and this opportunity was a highlight of his season. “Having the opportunity to compete on great bulls in Fort Worth was a great experience. The WCRA has truly allowed me to continue to pursue my passion from my region.”
Covington expanded on his experience, explaining, “I have been mostly staying in my circuit and nominating events in my area. The WCRA nomination system has allowed me to grow my confidence and skill set after my injuries.” Opportunities like the Instant Replay, have provided athletes like Covington the opportunity to continue to pursue their dreams.
The Instant Replay Review Challenge has provided athletes the opportunity to insure the right call is being made and allow their voices to be represented in the arena. Since 2018, the WCRA has utilized the Instant Replay Review Challenge as an opportunity for athletes and judges alike to ensure the best call is being made.