This Month

That Rodeo Life

A girl ropes a calf at a rodeo.

The rodeo trail tantalizes competitors with cash prizes and offers spectators exciting opportunities to watch the best cowboys and cowgirls in the country chase their dreams. We’ve compiled a list of some of the sport’s best rodeos to help you make plans to attend.

Coaching the Next Generation

Aspiring youth rodeo contestants can apply to attend one of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s nearly two dozen PRCA Youth Camps this summer. Campers will receive quality instruction on the basics of rodeo or further hone their skills with PRCA champions. The camp goal is to provide youth with a fun, positive rodeo experience. Funded by contributions from PRCA members, the camp is offered at no cost to participants.

“We do two different types of camp,” Miriaham Contreras from the PRCA says. “We do one called a 101, which is your introductory rodeo skills. It’s meant for inner-city youth or kids who’d never been around a ranch. And then we have the skills camp, and those are meant for kids who are already competing in rodeo, and they’re trying to fine-tune their skills to get to the pro level.”

Designed to introduce youth to the sport and encourage athletes for the future, the youth camps also work with local communities in conjunction with PRCA rodeos. The 101 camps are offered for children from 5 years old and up, usually until around 15 years old. The skills camps are geared toward youth ages 11-17.

“The biggest thing is they’re always free for the youth to attend,” Contreras says.

Most of the camps run for about four hours a day for varying amounts of days. Last year, there were 17 camps at 15 different locations. Thisyear, the organization is slated for 21 camps across the country. Each skills camp connects around 12 kids per instructor per skill in roughstock and timed events.

“Last year, we had 7,500 participants in programs,” Tracy Cobb, with PRCA, says. “The PRCA invested in our future with $392,000 in youth camps, and they offer $1,000 scholarships as well to camp participants.”

One past youth camp participant is Jayco Roper, who qualified and made his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo debut last year in bareback riding.

For more info on how to register, go to prorodeo.com/prca-rodeo-camps.

We've compiled a list of some of the sport’s best rodeos to help you make plans to attend and watch the best of the West.

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