Things To Know: What is a ProRodeo? - Marina Arts District in Corpus Christi, TX

Apr 16, 2019

By: Alexandra Scott

Hey, there! It’s me. Your friendly neighborhood blogger who does not know what a ProRodeo is. You too? Awesome. Let’s learn all about it together.

We all know that those who compete in rodeos require lots of training, just as any other athlete. But just how much goes into competing in a ProRodeo like the one that will take place in a few weeks at Buc Days? Quite a lot actually.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the organization that helps put on the Buc Days Rodeo, is the oldest and largest rodeo-sanctioning body in the world. Annually, this organization authorizes about 650 world class multi-event rodeos in North America (about 38 states in the USA and three to four Canadian provinces). That’s a lot.

The PRCA boasts that “more than 43 million people identify themselves as fans of ProRodeo”, according to their website . The site also states that rodeo has been identified by Sports Business Daily as seventh in overall attendance for major sporting events, ahead of even golf and tennis. Because you obviously can’t have as much fun at a golf or tennis event as you can at a rodeo, especially a Texas rodeo event.

To participate in any of these fan-favorite competitions, most cowboys (and cowgirls because…2019) generally pay to enter each rodeo. If they place high enough to win prize money, they make a profit. If not, they don’t. So the athletes in these events hold themselves to a high standard every time they decide to complete in their chosen disciplines.

Each time they decide to enter a new rodeo, they were presented with different obstacles from the last. Everything from the size, shape and perimeter of an arena to the chute configuration (the chute is the pen that holds the animal safely) and whether it is indoors or outdoors can vary widely. The differences can be so substantial that some “timed-event cowboys” will own different horses for different types of arenas.

While the Buc Days Rodeo will have over 500 athletes participating, the PRCA includes just over 4,720 members. Most of these contestants compete for a living with their own horses and equipment but many also work other jobs during the week and compete in rodeos on the weekends. All of these competitors are striving to earn the illusive “World Champion” title. Don’t’ we all wan to be world champions at something?!

They earn this title by tallying up total earnings at the end of the season. The fairest and easiest way to measure success in this sport (because of all the variables going into each rodeo), across all the different fields of competition, is by looking at an individual’s total earnings. The PRCA “crowns” eight world titlists a year, each earning an elusive gold buckle and a trophy saddle. In fact, the champions in 2017 had earnings as high as $436,479 for the 2017 season.

Suddenly being a professional cowboy, or cowgirl, doesn’t seem all that ridiculous.

PRCA-sanctioned rodeos, like the Buc Days Rodeo, raise over $16 million annually for local and national charities. With everything from college scholarships for area students to campaigns against breast cancer and so many worthy charities in between.

Join some of the 6.3 million rodeo attendees from across the US and support your local ProRodeo event by heading down to the American Bank Center and Buc Days Rodeo from Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, April 28. Visit for more information and check out the rodeo schedule and concert series.

And don’t forget your boots!