Four Outstanding Performers Selected by Fans to Sing the National Anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Four winners join list of 10 to perform at the Thomas & Mack Center

LAS VEGAS (November 21, 2014) – After a three-month promotion, four performers have been selected by fans to sing the national anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The Wrangler NFR will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 4 and run through Saturday, Dec. 13.

The Wrangler NFR National Anthem Contest launched on Aug. 1. There were three categories for aspiring performers to choose from: rodeo committees, open, and youth. From there, an initial fan vote narrowed the list to the Top 12 and a panel of judges narrowed the list to the top 3 in each respective category.

From Sept. 24 through Oct. 5, fans voted on their selection of choice in each category. A fourth Wild Card category, which awarded the performer that received the most votes outside of the winner in each category, was added to provide one additional opportunity to perform.

Shelly Cargill, representing the open category; Caitlyn Ochsner, representing the rodeo committees (Greeley Stampede); Sheyenne Weaver, representing the youth category; and Samantha Dawn Schoenthaler, the Wild Card winner affiliated with Cheyenne Frontier Days, will perform before a capacity crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Cargill’s passion for singing was evident even before she could speak. At the age of 18, she began singing at local weddings and continued with her band, Just Country, for more than 20 years. She was an avid barrel racer and team roper and combined her passion for music with her love for rodeo by singing the National Anthem at every opportunity. She brought up her twins in the rodeo community, singing at numerous junior and high school rodeos they attended, creating a name for herself across the Central Coast of California. She currently sings with three different bands, which include classic country, modern country and soft rock.

Ochsner is a 17-year-old junior at Platte Valley High School in Kersey, Colo. She grew up riding horses and showing cattle as part of her family’s registered cow/calf operation. Her passion for singing began at age 7 when she won the Weld County Idol contest at the county fair. Since that time, Caitlyn has enjoyed singing at cowboy churches, fundraisers and barbecues and has been invited to sing the National Anthem at livestock shows, sporting events and rodeos, including the Greeley Stampede.HH

Weaver is a 15-year-old sophomore at Alliance High School in Alliance, Neb. She has been singing and performing since she was a young girl, commuting long distances twice a day to hone her singing and harmonizing skills. She is in the swing choir called Harmonics at her high school and recently tied for first place at a local Stars of Tomorrow contest. She sings the National Anthem for local sports teams and hopes to get a scholarship to Midland University in Fremont, Neb. when she graduates.

Schoenthaler, 23, has been singing professionally since she was 13 years of age, following closely in her father’s footsteps. She has won several vocal competitions throughout the state of Missouri, including the 2009-10 Missouri State Fair Idol (which led to opening up for the Eli Young Band), 2011 Bootleggers Idol and other vocal fair and karaoke competitions. She recently performed at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. She lives by her motto “Never Weaken” and it keeps her pushing on to the next goal.

The full list of anthem performers include:
Thursday, Dec. 4 – Mark Willis
Friday, Dec. 5 – Terry Fator
Saturday, Dec. 6 – Caitlyn Ochsner
Sunday, Dec. 7 – Lee Greenwood
Monday, Dec. 8 – Sheyenne Weaver
Tuesday, Dec. 9 – Travis Tritt
Wednesday, Dec. 10 – 3rd Division Marine Aircraft Wing Band
Thursday, Dec. 11 – Casey Jamerson
Friday, Dec. 12 – Samantha Dawn Schoenthaler
Saturday, Dec. 13 – Shelly Cargill

The Wrangler NFR, known as the richest and most prestigious rodeo in the world, has sold out 280 consecutive performances and attracts the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding as they compete for a share of the $6.375 million purse. Qualification is based on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings.

For more information on the Wrangler NFR, please visit or through social media at /LasVegasNFR and use #WranglerNFR.

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About Las Vegas Events
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Founded in 1982, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 600 events.
About the Wrangler NFR
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), considered the world’s premier rodeo, features 10 straight days of the best in rodeo competition, with a total of 120 contestants competing every night in seven events. Each December, the top 15 contestants, based on the 2014 PRCA World Standings, in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR.