By: Julia Dondero
To Mason Clements, the World Champions Rodeo Alliance is the opportunity to change lives and elevate the sport of Rodeo to new heights. It’s the rattling of horses in bucking chutes as the national anthem plays in a packed arena. It’s the roar of an eager crowd as the sports best compete against each other. It’s the quiet commodity amongst riders behind the chutes as they prepare for a potentially life-changing ride. It’s the lingering anticipation and hunger for the next title in the air. It’s WCRA Rodeo.
The professional Bareback Rider is chasing his Triple Crown of Rodeo Dreams one horse at a time and is currently in hot pursuit of his second consecutive WCRA Major win with Rodeo Carolinas on the horizon. With a commanding win in Rodeo Corpus Christi, the Spanish, Fork, Utah cowboy is set on capturing the prestigious title and million-dollar bonus this October at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
For Clements, the opportunity to win this title means more than the life-changing bonus. To the 3-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, this an opportunity to further the western way of life and rodeo. “I try to remind myself and other Bareback Riders that we aren’t just hands in riggans and bodies on horses, we’re gladiators of the sport. Let’s make a boom, tell the world and showcase the sport. WCRA is instrumental in helping us do that and we couldn’t ask for anything better.” expressed Clements.
While it may only be July, Clements has his mind set on capturing the second win of the 2023 Triple Crown Series. The Rodeo Corpus Christi Champion explained, “I’ve had my mind set on winning the Million Dollar bonus for a while now. I wanted to be the first to do it, but now I aim to be the second ” referencing the close race between himself and WCRA’s first Million Dollar Cowboy, RC Landingham during the 2022 series.
Reflecting on Rodeo Corpus Christi and the Tryon International Equestrian Center, Clements expressed his gratitude and excitement for the environment the WCRA creates. “Fans in arenas like that bring so much electricity. Competing in environments like that gives me goosebumps just thinking about it– it makes you come alive.”
Clements aims to bring this level of energy and competition to North Carolina, at the world-class Tryon International Equestrian Center. He also explained the importance of a winning mindset, “My mindset for Rodeo Carolinas is to go get my second win and not let anything get in the way.”
As Clements is in the midst of the busiest stretch of PRCA rodeos, known as “Cowboy Christmas”, he has his mind set on the Triple Crown of Rodeo nominations. Nominating professional rodeos as he goes, the three-time NFR qualifier explained it’s a great opportunity to capitalize on his PRCA runs. Looking towards his peers, he simply expressed, “In my mind, nominating rodeos is a no-brainer. It’s a great opportunity to better yourself and the sport.”
Speaking of Rodeo as a whole, Clements expressed his gratitude for the impact WCRA has made on the growth of the sport. “It’s a great time to be a cowboy. We are so grateful for these big opportunities and exposure, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the sport.”