Ahead of the 2023 Rodeo Corpus Christi, WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) has announced those athletes advancing directly to the Showdown Round on Saturday night, May 13, courtesy of their No. 1 standing on the leaderboard.
Marking WCRA’s first leg of the 2023 Triple Crown of Rodeo, Rodeo Corpus Christi will be held from May 10-13, paying out more than $553,000 to top western sports athletes in ten disciplines: bareback riding, women’s breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, steer roping, team roping (heading and heeling), tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
Launched in 2019, the Triple Crown of Rodeo is an annual bonus that will pay $1 million to any one athlete or collection of athletes who win first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. The most recent Triple Crown of Rodeo event was held in Fort Worth, Texas, in December 2022.
During the December 2022 event, Bareback Rider RC Landingham (Hat Creek, California) went into the event with two wins, only needing to win one more event to earn the bonus. Landingham rode supreme and punched his ticket to the $1 million WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo cash bonus.
Those athletes that earned an automatic berth to the Showdown Round for Rodeo Corpus Christi are:
Bareback Riding: Leighton Berry (Weatherford, Texas)
Saddle Bronc: Kody Rinehart (Rienzi, Mississippi)
Bull Riding: Josh Frost (Randlett, Utah)
Steer Wrestling: Cody Devers* (Perryton, Texas)
Team Roping: Andrew Ward (Header | Edmond, Oklahoma) and Buddy Hawkins* (Heeler | Stephenville, Texas)
Tie-Down Roping: Shad Mayfield (Clovis, New Mexico)
Barrel Racing: Julie Plourde (Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada)
Breakaway Roping: Martha Angelone (Stephenville, Texas)
*Denotes an athlete looking to remain Triple Crown eligible by winning their second WCRA Major.
Of the No. 1 athletes that advanced via their ranking on the leaderboard, Steer Wrestler Cody Devers and Team Roping Heeler Buddy Hawkins are the only athletes remaining in contention for the $1 million Triple Crown of Rodeo bonus. Both athletes have one win.
In addition to Devers and Hawkins, Isaac Diaz (Bareback Riding), Wyatt Nelson (Team Roping Header), Tiffany Shieck (Breakaway Roping), Kass Kayser (Tie-down roping), Kassie Mowry (Barrel Racing) and Cole Fisher (Bull Riding) are Triple Crown of Rodeo eligible with one win.
These athletes secured their berths by achieving the No. 1 position on the WCRA’s 2023 Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard, which included nominated competition efforts at events held from November 2022 to April 2023. On May 13 at Rodeo Corpus Christi held at American Bank Center, these athletes will be joined in the Showdown Round by the top two fastest times/highest score from each Progressive Round (May 10-12) performance.
From there, the Top 3 scores, or times, will advance to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round, where they will compete for their share of the $553,000 event purse.