As a sponsor of the National High School Rodeo Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association wears many hats during the National High School Finals Rodeo. From having a tradeshow booth, to multiple scholarship opportunities, classroom sessions, and daily roughstock training sessions, the PRCA offers all these activities in hope that they will help these high school athletes excel in their plans of future rodeo and life in general.
Each day, the PRCA held roughstock training sessions, where they brought in pros from the rodeo world to help roughstock riders practice and learn new techniques. When the pros weren’t at the roughstock training sessions, they were hanging out at the PRCA booth in the tradeshow. World Champion bareback rider Kelly Wardell was there each day to help those bareback riders with new riggins they had purchased and offered advice for those riders on their rides throughout the week. Other pros who happened to hang out at the tradeshow booth were Wyatt Clark, Shaun Stroh, Fred Boettcher and World Champion Bareback rider Jeff Collins.
The PRCA also offered classroom sessions covering an array of topics to help the athletes when they continue onto future rodeos and beyond. Janet Cropper from the WPRA held a session that covered the relationship between the WPRA and the PRCA and was there to offer advice for all the barrel racers. World Champion bull rider Dustin Elliott held a motivational session, sharing stories and advice on keeping you motivated. Susan Kanode was there to educate athletes about the media and the athletes presents on social media, while Coach Jed Moore held a session about college rodeo. He helped the high school athletes understand the importance of college, rodeo and what coaches are looking for when recruiting. The last classroom session of NHSFR was with Dr. Doug Corey, DVM who covered all aspects of Livestock Welfare and rodeo.
Scholarships awards were also given from the PRCA and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame while at NHSFR17. Combined, they offered almost $10,000 in scholarship opportunities. The PRCA held its annual Knowledge Bowl, where teams of three competed in head to head elimination rounds, testing their knowledge of rodeo from High School, College, PRCA and History of. This year’s Knowledge Bowl was tough but Team Washington took the win, each earning a $1500 scholarship, while Team Texas took second place each taking home a $650 scholarship. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame offered a $500 scholarship for the high school rodeo athlete who exemplifies Western heritage and who lives by the cowboy ethics in their life. This year’s winner was Clay Barry of Kennewick, WA. Clays father is a PRCA bullfighter and also fought bulls at the NHSFR for several years. The PRCA also offered two $1500 scholarships. Applicants were required to make a short video explaining what the PRCA means to them. Winners of the PRCA Gold Buckle Scholarships were Cyle Denison of Iowa, LA and Dillon Hahnkamp of Melrose, MT. Congratulations to all the High School athletes who were awarded a scholarship not only from the PRCA and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame but also from the High School Rodeo Foundation.