For 10 days each December, Las Vegas goes completely cowboy and cowgirl crazy when the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) comes to town, adding some grit to the city that glitters. Every year the city transforms into one big cowboy town when the rodeo takes over, and this year promises to be the biggest and most exhilarating yet!
In all, 24 hotels are official Wrangler NFR sponsors and the world’s most talented cowboys and cowgirls will rodeo for a total purse of more than $10 million. But, the action on the dirt is just one aspect of the overall Wrangler NFR Las Vegas experience. Hundreds of shows, expos, ancillary rodeos and competitions, after parties, viewing parties and autograph sessions take place over the 10 days of Wild West fun.
There’s rodeo and then there’s the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (Wrangler NFR). When the Super Bowl of Rodeos comes to town, Las Vegas goes cowboy, with events and entertainment for everyone.
Professional rodeo action consists of two types of competitions: roughstock events and timed events.
Bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding are roughstock events, and judges score qualified riders based on both their performance and the animal’s performance. To earn a qualified score, the cowboy must use only one hand and stay aboard a bucking horse or bull for a full eight seconds. If the rider inadvertently touches the animal, himself or any of his equipment with his free hand, he is disqualified.
In saddle bronc and bareback riding, a cowboy must “mark out” his horse; that is, he must exit the chute with his spurs set above the horse’s shoulders and hold them there until the horse’s front feet hit the ground after the initial jump out of the chute. Judges score qualified rides and a perfect score is 100 points.
Steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing and steer roping are timed events, where contestants compete against the clock, as well as against the other competitors. A contestant’s goal is to post the fastest time in his or her event.
In steer wrestling and the roping events, calves and steers are allowed a head start. The competitor, on horseback, starts in a three-sided fenced area called a box. The fourth side opens into the arena. Competitors then try to “corral” with a rope or a tackle in the quickest time.
For barrel racing, cowgirls and horses race into the arena and maneuver around three barrels to see who can record the fastest time. Rodeo 101. It’s that simple!
Giddy up for the Wrangler NFR Las Vegas experience and book your vacation now at allegiant.com.