The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) move into Kansas City this weekend while professional rodeo athletes compete in one of the sport’s premier events in Oklahoma City: the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR).
- Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, Oklahoma City, OK — March 29-April 1
Professional rodeo is unique in that, week after week, it pits world championship cowboys against part-time competitors. This aspect is no more apparent than during the crown jewel of rodeo’s circuit system, the RNCFR.
The country is divided into twelve regions or circuits and many competitors choose to compete only within this circuit, foregoing a life on the road as a full-time contestant. Each circuit has a finals rodeo at the end of the season and the year end champion as well as the champion of the circuit finals rodeo qualify to compete in OKC.
With just 24 contestants per event, the RNCFR does not lack for top caliber competition. Four of the reigning world champions will be competing this weekend: Kaycee Field, bareback riding; Tuf Cooper, tie down roping; Luke Branquinho, steer wrestling; and Taos Muncy, saddle bronc riding.
But the champions will face stiff competition from the field of lesser-known cowboys and cowgirls. The RNCFR is their Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) and most attack the competition with a fierce determination to win.
Further making the RNCFR unique, it is the only rodeo in the pro ranks that offers a team title. The circuit that wins the most money wins the team title and the bragging rights that go with it.
The RNCFR begins Thursday night, March 29 at 7:30 PM CT. Performances follow on Friday night, March 30, Saturday, March 31 at 1 PM and 7:30 PM, and the Finals are Sunday, April 1 at 1 PM. Listen live to each performance at ProRodeo Live.
- Kansas City Invitational, Kansas City, MO — March 31-April 1
The PBR stops in Kansas City for the 11th time this weekend, bringing top bull riding action and one of the closest World Championship races in recent memory.
Brazilian Valdiron de Oliveira took the top spot in the standings from North Carolina native JB Mauney last weekend despite Mauney’s win in Albuquerque. The lead is slim, just 65 points, with reigning World Champion Silvano Alves third by just over 1100 points.
Also scheduled to compete is World Champion Bull Bushwacker. The bull made an impressive outing last weekend in Albuquerque, dispatching Jordan Hupp during the second 15/15 Bucking Battle and will resume his chase for a repeat championship in Kansas City.
The top 35 riders will compete on Saturday, March 31 at 8 PM CT, returning on Sunday, April 1 at 2 PM CT. Each night there will be a long round and a ten man short round. The event will air on Saturday the PBR Live Event Center and on CBS Sports Network on Sunday.