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Cheyenne Frontier Days

Ropers, steer wrestlers boycott CFD over new tournament style format


Associated Press - June 26, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Some professional cowboys say they will boycott this year's Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo because of the new, tournament style format the "Daddy of 'em All" adopted in roping and steer wrestling events.

Under the new format, slack will now become a qualifying round to make it into the rodeo performances in steer roping, tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling. Each performance will see event winners and money paid out, and the contestants will start with a clean slate in the finals.

This means cowboys will now have to participate in slack rounds to qualify for regular rodeo performances. The top 40 in each round will qualify for regular performances, and athletes will win money during both slack rounds.

But some in the sport argue that between requiring an extended stay and additional runs because of the new format, a long arena setup that is hard on horses, and more payouts that diminishes returns, there's not enough of an incentive to participate.

Before the changes, all PRCA-sanctioned events featured two go-rounds. The riders with the top scores and times in those go-rounds would then qualify for the finals

Tie-down roper Hunter Herrin of Apache, OK, says the change means cowboys will compete more for less money. In a Facebook post, Gering, NE, tie-down roper Riley Pruitt said the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s top 50 tie-down ropers and a number of steer wrestlers will not participate in this year’s event.

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Chairman Chad Mathews contends that the new format means a better spectator experience and payouts to more contestants.

 



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