Sunday, December 15, 2013

NFR 2013

There are two times a year where I really get into, watch regularly and love rodeo...

The Calgary Stampede

Because... hey that's me with the City of Calgary flag!

&

Because... my mom and I have been going strong at the Stampede since I was a little itty bitty baby. It's my favourite family tradition.


The Second is...

The National Finals Rodeo




Truth of the matter is... guys i'm going to share a secret here... much like most canadians are hockey bandwagoners (the stereotype is a lie, half of us don't know what we're talking about when we root for "our teams", I promise)... I am a rodeo bandwagoner.

Serious rodeo contestant guys... at the one & only gymkhana i've ridden in.. marking probably a solid 2 minute run on thread the needle.

& Although I DO know what Tuf Cooper competes in...


Maaaaybe I'm a bit of a buckle bunny....

I will give you some serious rodeo-props if you know what movie this early buckle-bunny Renee cameo is from

But, all of that aside, the NFR was another good one this year. My favourite event is Barrels, and one of my favourite racers is Sherry Cervi. No one contests that the woman is a talented, talented hand with a horse, a serious competitor, and a gracious, lovely woman. I even met her once at the Stampede and she was so nice and down to earth. 


& after a solid year, Sherry won the average as well as the Gold Buckle, the Top Gun Award and the world this year on her phenomenal horse Stingray. I can't pull it up on youtube, but if you want to see how cool these two are together, especially just in their everyday routines on the road, search "Up Close & Personal with Sherry Cervi" a video put on by The Classic Real Deal.

However, two big controversies have come out of the NFR after the dirt in the Thomas & Mack settled after Round Ten. 

The first being the team of Taylor Jacob and Bo, Rookie of the Year. Taylor won an impressive number of rounds AND set an arena record on her horse. Taylor was quickly becoming the world's newest Rodeo golden girl, the way she enters the arena is so wonderful - quiet, composed and Bo is clearly listening to her. Then.. after two nights of knocking barrels she knocked the third barrel in Round Ten, the camera panned to her in the alley and it showed her see-sawing on her horses face. The camera quickly panned away, and just as quickly the internet BLEW UP with forums and facebook posts about how people the world over had lost their respect for the rookie of the year.

Here is the video...

Go to 2:33 to see what I'm talking about

Tough. Part of me feels bad for Jacob, who has yet to release a statement about it, perhaps it was a Rookie mistake. Perhaps she really did loose her cool (which a lot of people are alleging was the cause of the incident) and, in that case, she does have a long way to mature and learn how to lose gracefully. I agree with most in that she owes a lot to Bo. However, another camp is stating that Bo can be a really bad stopper in the alleyway and that multiple times he's tried to crash her into fences instead of stopping. The Thomas and Mack is also set up in a very barrel unfriendly way, if you keep running, you will end up on cement and hit a fence. So, perhaps it was a dangerous situation and she was attempting to stop him, and make him stop. Either way, it put a bit of tarnish on all those buckles (5) she won during NFR.

Second, and perhaps even more insane, was this announcement from Las Vegas Events via their Official NFR Experience Facebook Page...
The 2014 #WranglerNFR Las Vegas dates will be December 4-13, 2014. You will hear many rumblings over the next few months about the future of the NFR and Las Vegas. Here is the statement we issued earlier today. We look forward to a great relationship with our fans in 2014 and beyond! 
Statement from Las Vegas Events Regarding the PRCA’s Rejection of Las Vegas’ Offer to Extend the Contract for theWrangler National Finals Rodeo 
The PRCA voted today 6-3 to decline the offer Las Vegas Events made for an extension of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to pursue an offer made by Osceola County, Florida. Osceola County exceeded LVE’s offer by more than $4 million.

We are disappointed that the PRCA has chosen to pursue a completely speculative offer versus Las Vegas’ proven 29-year track record.

Adding an additional $4 million to the budget would require a 40% increase in ticket prices. That is not sustainable. We have to balance the demands of the PRCA with the consequence of pricing our fans out of the market. In fact, LVE does not generate a profit from the NFR. All revenue generated from the NFR including ticket sales, Cowboy Christmas, local sponsorship sales and a $2 million LVCVA and LVE rights fee, go directly to the contestants and the PRCA.

Now that we know the PRCA’s true intentions, we will put our full effort into developing a new Series and Finals. For almost 30 years, we have developed a loyal fan base that calls Las Vegas home for the first two weeks in December. We are confident our new “Finals” will exceed all expectations.


The PRCA voted today 6-3 to decline the offer Las Vegas Events made for an extension of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to pursue an offer made by Osceola County, Florida. Osceola County exceeded LVE’s offer by more than $4 million.
We are disappointed that the PRCA has chosen to pursue a completely speculative offer versus Las Vegas’ proven 29-year track record.
Adding an additional $4 million to the budget would require a 40% increase in ticket prices. That is not sustainable. We have to balance the demands of the PRCA with the consequence of pricing our fans out of the market. In fact, LVE does not generate a profit from the NFR. All revenue generated from the NFR including ticket sales, Cowboy Christmas, local sponsorship sales and a $2 million LVCVA and LVE rights fee, go directly to the contestants and the PRCA. 
Now that we know the PRCA’s true intentions, we will put our full effort into developing a new Series and Finals. For almost 30 years, we have developed a loyal fan base that calls Las Vegas home for the first two weeks in December. We are confident our new “Finals” will exceed all expectations.
Team... this is NOT OKAY... Florida?! Vegas is all glitz and glam and cowboy christmas... it was made for the NFR. Florida is... snow birds... and oranges.. and stuff.. who even knows? Meanwhile, there are the diehards that are saying "if it ain't vegas, it's Oklahoma, and if it's somewhere new it better gosh-darnit-Itellya-be-in Texas." However, I'm right there with them. Vegas is glitz and glam, but it's also pretty cheap - totally affordable flights and hotels (.. even if they get a bit crazier during NFR time) so that thousands upon thousands can go down and do some serious shopping and rodeo-watching every year. Furthermore, Florida is pretty far away for a lot of rodeo contestants, most of which are from Texas, or other more central states, and hard on horses who have been hauled all year and now have to be hauled even farther for the finals. Although it's not official, and nothing is set in stone, it appears Las Vegas events is very offended by the PRCA's actions.

Furthermore, I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THE NFR IN VEGAS, and gosh-darnit I want to be there, more importantly I want to SHOP there. This means some serious saving, because I need to get my butt down there next year in 2014, especially if it's the last Finals that Vegas ever sees...

So, any rodeo fans in my readership, what do you think of Taylor Jacob and what do you think of Florida as the potential new home for the WNFR?

2 comments:

  1. Wow the WNFR in Florida?!

    My bff in going to start barrel racing on the Rodeo circuit this year... excited for her!

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  2. I love the NFR too, actually I love all rodeo even though I have no desire to compete there but I wanna go too and not in Florida! I love Saddlebronc best, although calf roping is excellent too (and I love Clif Coopers horse, so cute :) )
    I think Taylor had a reason to pull on her horse, and unfortunately those who don't ride especially a almost runaway horse like a barrel horse don't understand how dangerous it could be if she didn't stop him. Not saying I think it was right but I understand her reasoning and don't think she should be blamed for it.

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