Legend has it that rodeo was born on July 4, 1889 when two neighboring ranches met in Deer Trail, Colorado to settle an argument over who was the best at performing everyday ranch tasks. That competition is considered to be the first rodeo that has evolved into the rodeo we currently celebrate.
While today’s professional cowboys are a bit different from their 1800’s predecessors, their ideals, showmanship and hard work are still highly valued. A cowboy’s standing in the rodeo community is still dependent on his skills with a rope or his ability on a bucking animal. And the cowboy code still dictates that a cowboy ought to help his fellow competitors, even when they might be competing for the same paycheck.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) is the recognized leader in professional rodeo. It is committed to maintaining the highest standards in the rodeo industry in all areas; from improving working conditions for contestants and monitoring livestock welfare to boosting entertainment value and promoting sponsors. The PRCA sanctions about 600 top of the line, multiple event rodeos across the United States and Canada. More than 35 million people identify themselves as fans of Pro Rodeo and many of them attend PRCA rodeos around the country. According to the Sports Business Daily, rodeo is seventh in overall attendance for major sporting events, ahead of both golf and tennis.
Wichita Falls has been home to PRCA sanctioned rodeos starting back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The Wichita Falls PRCA rodeo became one of the most prestigious rodeos throughout the professional rodeo world and competitors would travel here from around the country and considered it a great accomplishment to win our rodeo. Over the years, Wichitans were able to watch many top PRCA competitors and world champions, such as Freckles Brown, Larry Mahan, Ty Murray, Rick Bradley, and Lane Frost. The PRCA rodeo became one of the biggest events in Wichita Falls and hardly anyone missed the opportunity to go to the rodeo.
Unfortunately the recession hit the Wichita Falls community hard. Because of low ticket sales and dwindling sponsorships, the professional rodeo in Wichita Falls ended after the performance in 2008. But around here, people don’t just fold and give up when hard times hit. In cowboy tradition, a couple of old rodeo hands from around the area decided to get up, dust off and overcome circumstances and bring the PRCA back. By 2013, with the help of dedicated committee members and the support of the community, the Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association was formed and PRCA rodeo was once again in Wichita Falls.
The Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association is thrilled to have successfully brought back the traditional PRCA Rodeo to Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. Our mission is to preserve the sport of rodeo and maintain our western heritage lifestyle in Wichita Falls, while also giving back to the local community, offering exciting family fun entertainment along with scholarship opportunities for our area Future Farmers of America and local 4H organizations. We are proud to be able to have a positive impact on not only our youth but our entire community. The support of our local and corporate businesses has been tremendous. One of our proudest accomplishments was in 2015 when we were recognized as an accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association members are happy to say that we don’t make a dime off the rodeo and have given back over $15,000 to local FFA and 4H students in scholarship opportunities. We are passionate about the sport of rodeo, our western heritage and truly want to give back to our home area and local youth. We do this because the Wichita Falls community represents home to us, and our neighbors serve as friends and family.
In the true spirit of Wichita Falls and the surrounding area, the Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association has decided to not rest on the fact that the professional rodeo is back, so for the first time ever in Wichita Falls, for 2018, professional rodeo will be held in the Kay Yeager Coliseum!! With this move, the Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association hopes to bring to the area a taste and feel of the PRCA Wrangler National Finals that are held in Las Vegas. With many world champions and top fifteen competitors in all events set to compete, this will be as close to the “Finals in Vegas” as you can get without being there. With climate controlled, individual seating for upwards of five thousand, four big screen overhead video boards, professional stock contractors, announcers, sound, funny men, bullfighters and the nation’s top competitors, the 2018 Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo promises to not be just a rodeo, but an experience, and a first for our area
We believe this is beginnings of the “Biggest Little Rodeo in Texas”!! Wichita Falls is the ideal location to attract PRCA competitors who are traveling to rodeos across the nation. And Wichita Falls is prime cowboy country. Many people here were born and raised on a farm or ranch, and being a cowboy is a way of life. Most of the folks that live in town or work in an office building, have that honest “country” down to earth, western presence about them. We have the luxury of a big town and all the conveniences that come with it, but still thrive off the western way of life. Appropriately, rodeo is a tradition here.
The Wichita Falls PRCA Rodeo Association is proud to have the backing of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, and more importantly, the national and local businesses and individuals that make it all possible. In our efforts to grow and put professional rodeo in Wichita Falls back on the national map, and in the spirit of the western heritage and culture that we in the North Texas area hold so dear; we invite you, the businesses, the individuals, everyone that cherishes the western lifestyle, and those who support our youth in the western, ranching and agriculture industries to join us in making “Our Rodeo” the event to attend in North Texas and one of the best professional rodeos in the nation in 2018.