Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit hosts the inaugural Montana High School Rough Stock Challenge
The Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit and the Montana High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA) have joined to organize the first ever High School Rough Stock Challenge at the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals (MPRF) 12, 13, 14 of January 2018. The brainchild of the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Board, the Montana High School Rough Stock Challenge is the very first event of its kind at any PRCA rodeo in the nation and engages youth and encourages them to participate in the sport of pro rodeo. The program exposes youth to a larger audience and helps them get a start in rodeo. Jim Croff president of the Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit Board, “This is a Montana Pro Rodeo program to help increase youth involvement in the sport of rodeo and we are excited to have been the first Professional Rodeo Circuit to come up with such a program involving youth and will be implementing it into the 39th annual MPRF,” said Croff. The top six high school contestants in the bareback and saddle bronc riding will compete throughout the 3 days of the MPRF. Three bareback riders and three saddle bronc riders will compete for each of the first two nights of the rodeo and the top three in each event will come back to compete on Sunday during the final round. The goal of the rough stock challenge event is to give youth that are interested in rough stock rodeo events an opportunity to get out there and ride with the pros.
The rough stock for the event has been chosen to fit the competitors and they will also get to spend one-on-one time with the pro judges. Lane Yeager and Mark Salmond, the MHSRA directors in charge of the event, emphasizes the importance of providing young people in rodeo with opportunities that will help them succeed. This event intends to provide this year’s contestants with new opportunities as well as raise interest in those who may want to be bareback or saddle bronc riders in the future. As the first program of its kind, the Montana High School Rough Stock Challenge provides a new way to provide these opportunities for Montana’s rodeo youth. The Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Board piloted the idea and hopes to get young bareback and saddle bronc riders in front of a broader audience as well as encourage those who may be the future of pro rodeo to become involved. The rough stock challenge helps complete the big circle that keeps pro rodeo alive as the older generation hands down opportunities to young competitors and help secure the future of PRCA rodeo.
The Montana High School Rough Stock Challenge was made possible through a youth educational and outreach grant from the Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit and it’s Board of Directors to engage youth of Montana in the sport of rodeo.
The high school competitors will each receive trophy vests complements of Courtney Higgins of Rodeo Rigs, LLC, Justin gear bags compliments of Hoglund’s Western Wear of Great Falls, contestant back patches donated by Dean & Bard Clark. The top riders in saddle bronc and bareback events will each receive a trophy buckle awarded by the Cascade PRCA Rodeo Committee who host the annual Cascade PRCA Pro Rodeo the first part of August.