Five things cowboys do on the journey to the RNCFR
So what does a cowboy have to do to get to the RNCFR? Can he or she just sign up? Can they pay their way in? The answer to both is no. Like any championship, you’ve got to earn your way in. Here is a list of a few things cowboys and cowgirls need to do in order to make it to the RNCFR in Kissimmee Florida this March 25th -28th!
1. Be willing to risk it all
These guys and gals risk their lives to entertain and compete in a sport we all love, but we’d be crazy to deny the dangers that come with the sport. Anything could happen and these contestants have to accept that challenge to compete. In the roughstock events, riding a 1,000+ pound animal, you’ve got to physically and mentally commit.
2. Get Sponsors!
As much as we love rodeo, it can be expensive. Most RNCFR competitors only rodeo on weekends or in their circuit because they have to work during the week to support their families (or as some might tell you, feed their weekend rodeo habit). Sponsors help alleviate costs for these contestants so they can continue to compete weekend after weekend whereas the WNFR (Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER) contestants are more likely to be full-time competitors.
3. Work the circuit system
In 1975, the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) created a format that breaks up the United States into 12 circuits. Those circuits include as few as one state, such as the California, Texas and Montana Circuits, to as many as 13 states in one circuit – the First Frontier Circuit in the northeastern part of the country. Ram has the title sponsorship of all 12 PRCA circuit finals rodeos and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR).
4. Be a Champion even before they arrive
As the regular season ends, top competitors from each event qualify to compete in their circuit finals rodeos. The winners at those rodeos get berths at the RNCFR, as do the contestants whose regular-season earnings within the circuit plus their Ram Circuit Finals Rodeo earnings put them at the top that year (for that event in that circuit). As long as those cowboys have competed in enough circuit rodeos to qualify, they are invited to Kissimmee to compete for a RNCFR championship.
5. Get Lucky.
And not just on St. Patrick’s Day, but during the RNCFR too! The stock is drawn at random before each performance. The livestock at the RNCFR are top notch and luck of the draw. Most people don’t know this, but the rough stock competing in the event are also scored on their performance just like the rider.