The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and is widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier rodeo. Held every December since 1985 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the Wrangler NFR is ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo, and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers and livestock in the world.
The top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (headers and heelers), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding – based on money won during the regular season, the Justin Boots Playoffs and Championships, and for many bull riders, the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour – qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR. At the conclusion of the Wrangler NFR, the sport’s world champions are determined based on total season earnings – what they win during the Wrangler NFR added to what they won before the Wrangler NFR.
The Wrangler NFR consists of 10 rounds on 10 consecutive days. Cowboys and barrel racers earn money by placing first through sixth in any round, and pick up more money by placing first through eighth in the average (cumulative times or points earned during the 10 rounds). At the end of each Wrangler NFR, there are two champions in each event (four for team roping): the average winner, who won the Wrangler NFR by having the best cumulative time or score in his or her event over the 10 rounds, and the world champion, who finished the year with the most money (including what he or she earned at the Wrangler NFR). For each event, the average winner and world champion may be the same person or different people.