Many will compete in Cleburne this week, but only a few will go on for the chance to become the coveted world champion of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association Rodeo.
The PRCA is the largest and oldest rodeo-sanctioning body in the world. Annually, the PRCA sanctions about 650 top-of-the-line multiple-event rodeos on the continent, in about 38 states and three or four Canadian provinces.
The week-long show — now in its 65th year — brings saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and other rodeo sports to Johnson County.
This year’s rodeo begins today with preliminary events, including the return of the mutton bustin’ championship and county team roping qualifications.
“Along with the car show, we will have our first annual ‘Back yard grill master cook off’ where we will be grilling and chilling for a good cause and some friendly competition,” Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse member Jon Puryear said. “So, come show off your grilling skills.”
Two-person teams can enter the competition for $50. To sign up, call 817-648-1434.
Mutton bustin’ begins at 9 a.m., and the top 20 will come back Friday and June 15 to compete for the top prize during the rodeo.
A stick horse rodeo will immediately follow mutton bustin.
Entries for county team roping begin at noon for a $100 fee, with qualifications starting at 1 p.m. Participants must be a resident of Johnson County.
The top eight teams will be invited to participate during the rodeo. Two teams each night of the rodeo will compete for a chance to win $1,000.
“This year is the 65th anniversary PRCA Pro Rodeo and you will witness the top bull riders, bareback riders, team ropers, barrel racers and much more,” Puryear said. “Let’s not forget, we have the best bullfighters coming to town as well as one of the best barrel men around. We will have Cody Webster, Johnny Dudley, JB Mooney and other top PRCA contestants, signing autographs.”
Attracting competitors from all over the world, the PRCA brings world champion bull riders, ropers and barrel racers, and provides the largest funding event for the year which enables the JCSP to continue to support area youth and benefit activities.
The first night’s performance, which kicks off at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the outdoor arena, has been dedicated as Military and First Responder Appreciation Night.
“As always, we will recognize our military and first responders Wednesday night, who get in free,” Puryear said.
The second evening — 7:30 p.m. Thursday — is God and Country Night. Members of Shepherd’s Valley Cowboy Church will perform a gospel concert before the rodeo begins at 8 p.m.
The third night’s performance at 8 p.m. Friday is lupus awareness night, and everyone is encouraged to wear purple.
“The reason we are doing lupus awareness is because we and every other rodeo have done tough enough to wear pink on Friday nights,” Puryear said. “We decided to do something different and maybe start a new trend. Wear your purple and let’s help find a cure and bring awareness to lupus.”
New this year will be junior bareback and junior saddle bronc riders on Wednesday and Thursday.
June 15, the last night’s performance, is the championship finale.
Tickets purchased at the gate cost $12 for adults and $8 for children older than 7. Children 6 and under are free to get in.
For sponsorship packages, call Shana Peacock at 817-648-1434.