The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, presented by Polaris RANGER, is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier rodeo. Held annually since 1959 – and since 1985, every December at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas – the Wrangler NFR is ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo, and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers and livestock in the world.
A new contract keeps the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas for another 10 years (2015-24) and raises prize money significantly over that decade. It is telecast to more than 55 million households on CBS Sports Net. New in 2015: Polaris RANGER is the presenting sponsor of the event. Polaris RANGER will award each world champion a brand new Polaris RANGER UTV.
The top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (headers and heelers), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding – based on money won during the regular season including Wrangler Champions Challenge events, the Justin Boots Playoffs and Championships, and for many bull riders, PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour earnings – qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR. At the conclusion of the Wrangler NFR, the sport’s world champions are determined based on total season earnings – what they win during the Wrangler NFR added to what they won before the Wrangler NFR.
The Wrangler NFR, presented by Polaris RANGER, consists of 10 rounds on 10 consecutive days. Cowboys and barrel racers earn money by placing first through sixth in any round, and pick up more money by placing first through eighth in the average (cumulative times or points earned during the 10 rounds). At the end of each Wrangler NFR, there are two champions in each event (four for team roping): the average winner, who won the Wrangler NFR by having the best cumulative time or score for that event over the 10 rounds, and the world champion, who finished the year with the most money (including what he or she earned at the Wrangler NFR). For each event, the average winner and world champion may be the same person or different people.
The 2014 Wrangler NFR was highlighted by a number of remarkable achievements and developments, including these:
• All PRCA world champions won the Wrangler NFR average titles as well as their gold buckles (WPRA barrel racer Fallon Taylor did not); it’s the only time this has happened other than 1976-78, when the world title was given to those who won the NFR
• Multi-event superstar Trevor Brazile extended his record number of world all-around championships to 12 (clinching that title in Round 3) and broke the record he set last year for total world championships (he now has 21) as well as breaking his own records for most consecutive all-around championships (nine), highest Wrangler NFR/NFSR career earnings ($1,894,187) and highest career earnings ($5,532,121), among others
• Bareback rider Kaycee Feild won two rounds and placed in six more, becoming the first contestant to win four consecutive world titles in his event as well as the second contestant to win the average title in any event at the Wrangler NFR four consecutive years (joining team roper Leo Camarillo, 1968-71) .
Courtesy of www.prorodeo.com.