Take a Florida rodeo road trip with the RAM NCFR
When you think of cowboy states, Wyoming, Texas, and Oklahoma probably come to mind long before Florida. Although, I bet you didn’t know that Florida was the first state in the continental United States to have cattle. The Sunshine State has been heavily involved with the ranching industry since 1521 when Ponce De Leon brought Andalusian cattle (also known as cracker cattle) over from Spain. Eventually, ranchers gathered these cracker cows and started building their own ranches in Florida. While carrying out daily ranch work, cowboys and cowgirls settled arguments by having competitions. Legend has it that the first rodeo ever held was in Colorado in 1869, and although Florida’s first rodeo didn’t start until 60 years later, our rodeo heritage is rich! Follow us on a rodeo road trip across the state of Florida to learn more about our rodeo traditions.
Florida’s very first rodeo was held in Arcadia in 1929, and today it is known to be “The Granddaddy of ‘em all,” rightfully so after 90 years of history and tradition. A Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned rodeo is held twice a year in Desoto County in March and October. During both of these rodeos, contestants compete in the seven traditional rodeo events. On October 19th and 20th, 2019, you can catch all the rodeo action, and this year, Arcadia is proud to host a new event in conjunction with their rodeo, the Bullfighters Only (BFO)! This event features the men who selflessly lay their lives on the line for the bull riders. See these fearless men and Arcadia’s own Riley McKettrick compete against bulls that were bred to fight at the Arcadia Championship Rodeo in October!
Next up is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi, and it just celebrated 75 years of rodeo action. The Silver Spurs Rodeo is held in February and June at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. The organization prides itself on being volunteer-based, raising the stock used in bull riding and bronc riding, and giving back to their community. In February, you can see the seven traditional rodeo events with contestants like Fallon Taylor, Shane Proctor, and Jacobs Crawley competing for prize money. In June, you can see junior barrel racers and bull riders taking their first steps in the world of pro rodeo. The next Silver Spurs Rodeo is February 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 2020.
Coming in with 67 years of rodeo history, it is one of the oldest annual professional sporting events in South Florida and the only PRCA Rodeo in Miami-Dade County. The Homestead Championship Rodeo was founded in 1952 by 17 members who shared a love of horses and the sport of rodeo. The Southernmost rodeo in the continental United States comes to town every January supporting the Wrangler National Patriot Program and Tough Enough To Wear Pink Program. The Homestead Championship Rodeo committee and members are dedicated to educating the community and the youth on the sport of rodeo. Catch all the action on January 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2020!
For more than 40 years, the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds has served as the main tourist attraction in Davie, Florida. Beginning in 1986 as Five Star Pro Rodeo then transitioning to the Weekley Brothers Davie Pro Rodeo in 2007, “Cowboy Town” keeps the rodeo way of life alive in Southern Florida. They were nominated in 2002 and 2004 for the PRCA Rodeo of the Year and named the #1 rodeo in Florida in 2012. They are home to many youth events, pro rodeo events, and the Southeastern Circuit Finals in November. Haven’t had enough of the rodeo action? Join Mr. Troy Weekley and Mr. Ralph Roller for the Southeastern Circuit Finals where the top 96 contestants lay down the fastest times and the highest scores!
Though we don’t have 90 years of Florida rodeo history, we do have 32 years of history in the sport of rodeo. In 1975, the PRCA created the circuit system, where they divided the United States into 12 circuits. In 1987, the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo was born, and Dodge became the official title sponsor. In 2010, the Dodge brand went to newly formed RAM, and in 2012, RAM took over the title sponsorship making it the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo. In 2016 the PRCA added Mexico into the circuits as the Mexico Rodeo Federation, and in 2018, the PRCA introduced Canada as the Maple Leaf Circuit. Every April, the RAM NCFR hosts the top two cowboys and cowgirls from each of the seven traditional rodeo events. This is a tournament-style rodeo where two rounds take place to find the top eight contestants in each event. The top four then move on, with all other scores and times thrown out, to determine the national champion. Event winners receive a $20,000 voucher for a new RAM vehicle, a Polaris RANGER UTV, a pair of exotic boots from Justin Boots, trophy saddle from Cactus Saddlery, and a Montana Silversmith buckle, in addition to their winnings. Will you be here to witness who claims the Montana Silversmith buckle and a share of over $1 million in cash and prizes?
The 2020 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo will take place in Kissimmee, Florida highlighting the industry’s top contestants. After 90 years, rodeo traditions run deep within our state and we are proud to be home to several of the top rodeos!