By: Kacie Albert
AUSTIN, Tex. – Ahead of the first-ever $1 million WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) Triple Crown of Rodeo event held in tandem with the iconic Buc Days in Corpus Christi, Texas, the alliance has announced those athletes advancing to the showdown round of Rodeo Corpus Christi, presented by Miller Lite, courtesy of their No. 1 standing on the leaderboard.
Marking WCRA’s first event of 2021, Rodeo Corpus Christi will be held from May 3-9, paying out more than $545,000 to top western sports athletes in 10 disciplines: bareback riding, women’s breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, steer roping, team roping (heading and heeling), tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
Launched in 2019, the Triple Crown of Rodeo is an annual bonus that will pay $1 million to any one athlete, or collection of athletes, who win first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. The most recent Triple Crown of Rodeo event was held in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Aug. 11-15, 2020.
Those athletes that earned an automatic berth to the showdown round for Rodeo Corpus Christi are:
• Bareback: Richmond Champion (Stevensville, Montana)
• Saddle Bronc: Kody Rinehart (Rienzi, Mississippi)
• Bull Riding: Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil)
• Steer Wrestling: Scott Guenthner (Provost, Alberta, Canada)
• Team Roping: Erich Rogers (Header | Round Rock, Arizona) and Paden Bray (Heeler | Stephenville, Texas)
• Tie-Down Roping: Riley Webb (Denton, Texas)*
• Barrel Racing: Maggie Poloncic (Gillette, Wyoming)
• Breakaway Roping: Josie Conner (Iowa, Louisiana)
*Denotes an athlete looking to remain Triple Crown eligible by winning their second WCRA Major.
These athletes secured their berths by securing the No. 1 seed on the WCRA’s Segment 7 leaderboard, which included nominated competition efforts at events held from July 2020 to April 2021. On May 9 at Rodeo Corpus Christi held at American Bank Center, these athletes will be joined by the Top 8 athletes from the qualifying and progressive rounds of action in the showdown round.
From there, the Top 3 scores, or times, will advance to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round, where they will compete for their share of the more than $500,000 event purse.
Of the athletes that advanced via their ranking on the leaderboard, tie-down roper Webb is the lone contender that remains in contention for the $1 million Triple Crown of Rodeo bonus.
At the most recent WCRA Major held in August 2020 in Oklahoma, then-17-year-old Webb was the undeniable star of the discipline, delivering what would be the most groundbreaking performance of the event.
As the only athlete to deliver a qualified run in the showdown round, his 8.5-second effort elevated him to a $16,500 payday. For Webb, who was then fresh off his win at the National High School Rodeo Finals, the event marked his career-first WCRA Major, advancing to the showdown round through the DY (youth) Pool. Not only did Webb emerge victorious, but he did so by defeating WCRA Royal City Roundup Champion and the world’s then-No. 1-ranked tie-down roper Shad Mayfield (Clovis, New Mexico) and 2013 PRCA World Champion Shane Hanchey (Carmine, Texas).
Tickets for Rodeo Corpus Christi, presented by Miller Lite, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or the American Bank Center Box Office.
The 2021 Buc Days will begin on Thursday, April 29, with the launch of the Stripes Carnival at American Bank Center, which will remain in operation for the entirety of the festival, followed by the annual Dunking of the Mayor. Other festivities scheduled to be held at American Bank Center for the 2021 Buc Days include the Wings Over South Texas Air Show May 1-2 and the Navy Army Night Parade at the Parade Pachanga May 2.
The bull riding action for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Buc Days PBR Chute Out, presented by Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers, begins at 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 at American Bank Center.
On Friday night, all 45 competing riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1. The Top 30 riders from Round 1 will then return for Round 2 on Saturday evening. Following Round 2, the Top 15 will then advance to the championship round, where they will attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
For more information on the 2021 Buc Days, visit BucDays.com, and for more on the Buc Days PBR Chute Out, presented by Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers, visit PBR.com. Tickets for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event are on sale now and start at $15. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or PBR.com, at American Bank Center Box Office, charge by phone at (800) 653-8000, or by calling PBR Customer Service at 1-800-732-1727.
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