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The PRCA announced the creation of their Jr. Rodeo Association in a prorodeo.com press release today that will see the next generation of world champions spotlighted at their own Jr. NFR. Young rodeo athletes aged 8-19 are being offered the chance to compete at Jr. Rodeo Association events, learn from the pro’s at clinics, receive accident insurance, and more under the PRCA’s new youth initiative.
Competitors aged 14-19 (that are still in High School) will have the chance to qualify and compete at the Cowboy Channel’s Jr. National Finals Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas March 3-7, 2020 with the finals of the tournament-style event being held in conjunction with The American at AT&T Stadium on March 7.
“The Jr. Rodeo initiative is important for the future growth of rodeo, and it is important for us to develop the future stars properly,” PRCA CEO George Taylor said in the PRCA press release. “Our new association is fundamentally built to embrace and grow youth participation in rodeo events. All rodeo starts here, and Jr. Rodeo is responsible for providing opportunities for kids to learn, improve and compete alongside the best cowboys in the best arenas like AT&T Stadium.”
The finals–with at least $200,000 in added money being offered at the moment–will feature all six major PRCA rodeo events (bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, and bull riding), plus girls barrel racing and breakaway roping. Competitors at the Jr. NFR’s debut in Texas will be pooled from the champions of the 2019 National High School Rodeo Association Finals, Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals, International Youth Finals Rodeo, Junior World Finals and Junior American.
Watch archives of those top Jr. rodeo events right here on FloRodeo:
|Feb. 27-Mar. 3, 2019||2019 Junior American Rodeo||Ft. Worth, TX||WATCH ARCHIVES|
|Jul. 2-7, 2019||2019 National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals||Guthrie, OK||WATCH ARCHIVES|
|Jul. 7-12, 2019||2019 International Youth Finals Rodeo||Shawnee, OK||WATCH ARCHIVES|
|Jul. 14-20, 2019||National High School Rodeo Association Finals||Rock Springs, WY||WATCH ARCHIVES|
Effective immediately, the Junior American and its qualifiers will also be folded into the Jr. Rodeo Association with all of the current qualifiers receiving a spot at the new finals. Organizers say this combination means more than 1,900 youth competitors are eligible for the gold buckle.
The association also says it will work with PRCA rodeos in 2020 to develop a jr. rodeo system and by 2021 rodeos will be able to qualify contestants directly from their events.
The Cowboy Channel, as the title sponsor, will also be telecasting the event in 2020. All qualifiers will compete in a long round with the top 15 moving on to the semifinals in Fort Worth, the top 6 moving on to the finals in Arlington at AT&T and then the winner of the Jr. NFR also receiving a spot in RFD-TV’s The American.