The “Real Deal” Championship Ranch Rodeo
The World Championship Ranch Rodeo, sanctioned by the Amarillo-based Working Ranch Cowboys Association, kicks off the second weekend in November, filling the Amarillo Civic Center with the most authentic cowboys and ranch horses to be found anywhere.
Twenty-four teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Florida will vie for the world championship. These teams are all made up of working ranch cowboys who make their livings in the saddle. This year’s competitors include several new teams, as well as several past world champions. The rodeo events themselves mirror actual ranch work and include ranch bronc riding, stray gathering, team penning, wild-cow milking and team branding.
Besides the spills and thrills that come with the arena action, your rodeo experience also brings you plenty of entertainment. Adrian Buckaroogirl is a talented young singer with an old cowgirl soul. She’ll be on stage during the Nov. 7 kickoff party, and she’ll also be part of the cowboy poetry and music festivities that run Nov. 9-10. Other cowboy poets and musicians include Tater Paschall, Chuck Milner, Jeff Gore, Jay Snider, Kevin Davis, Jason Eicke and Luke Reed.
New this year is a free after-rodeo concert in the Heritage Room, with donations being accepted to benefit the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation. Come listen to Caleb Allemand and the 9 Volt Band, Nov. 8, 9 and 10.
In conjunction with the ranch rodeo, the Civic Center will also house a ranch expo and cowboy trade & trappings show. If you’re a fan of the western lifestyle, you’ll love the shopping here.
Another part of this year’s championship ranch rodeo is a salute to the next generation. The youngest working ranch cowboys and cowgirls have written essays describing what it’s like to be a youth in ranching, and many of those will be on display in the Heritage Room.
Rodeo tickets are $22-$34 and are available by calling Panhandle Tickets at 806.378-3096 or going online to panhandletickets.com. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Tickets are still available for the rodeo performance at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 and the final matinee performance at 2 p.m. Nov. 11.
The Nov. 9 and 10 rodeo performances, both at 7 p.m., are sold out, but a live video feed will be shown in the Heritage Room of the Amarillo Civic Center, where a cash bar is also available. Purchase a “Cowboy Honor VIP Room” ticket from Panhandle Tickets.
If all this sounds intriguing, you won’t want to miss the chance to mingle with rodeo contestants and WRCA directors at the Nov. 7 kickoff party. For $20 per person, you’ll enjoy food, a cash bar and Adrian Buckaroogirl’s entertainment, in addition to the introduction of competing ranch teams. Ages 12 and under are free. Reserve your ticket by calling the WRCA office at (806) 372-9722.
What: 17th annual World Championship Ranch Rodeo
When: Amarillo Civic Center
Where: Nov. 8-11
Information: Working Ranch Cowboys Association, (806) 374-9722 or www.wrca.org.