Cowboys in Vegas: WNFR Takes Over the Strip

NEWS FLASH:‘s home page on December 16 for a postcard update from the NFR!

Got Copenhagen? The world’s largest (probably) rodeo opens today in Las Vegas!.

Consider these stats:

? 2007 marks the 23rd anniversary for Las Vegas as the host to the world’s richest and most prestigious rodeo.

? The prize money for the participants this year will be $5.5 million.

? In 2006, the event had a total event attendance of 175,649 over the 10 days of competition.

? In 2006, the Wrangler NFR had a total non-gaming economic impact of $52.8 million on Las Vegas and its environs.

? The Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, the only official gift show of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, features more than 400 vendors and runs from December 6 to 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The NFR goes on for 10 straight days, with a total of 120 contestants competing every night in seven events. Each December, the top 15 contestants, based on the Jack Daniel’s World Standings, in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR.

This is probably the only horse-related event in the world where the sponsor list includes Hooters and Krispy-Kreme Doughnuts.

To learn more: is, as always, a controversial sport. Groups like SHARK and PETA’s “Buck the Rodeo” campaign continue to rally against what they say is the cruel abuse and exploitation of animals for the benefit of entertainment and sport.

Amidst all the protests, rodeo seems to be growing in popularity as a spectator sport and is often broadcast nationally. It’s a paradox that kinder, gentler natural horsemanship should be in vogue at the same time that rodeo goes to new levels with extreme camera angles and cheesecake Vegas glam to get its share of tv ratings and corporate sponsors.




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