By: Kacie Albert
CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. – For the first time in history, WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) will team with the iconic Buc Days in Corpus Christi, Texas, to make Rodeo Corpus Christi, presented by Miller Lite, part of the league’s $1 million, nationally televised 2021 Triple Crown of Rodeo (TCR).
Launched in 2019, the Triple Crown of Rodeo is an annual bonus that will pay $1 million to any athlete or collection of athletes who wins 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. Since the WCRA was founded in May 2018, the alliance has paid out more than $8.5 million.
“We launched the Triple Crown of Rodeo with a goal to grow the sport of rodeo through major media exposure,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “The TCR media platform was built to align with established, historic events like Rodeo Corpus Christi. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to bring a major payout rodeo and a CBS network broadcast to a destination market such as Corpus Christi.”
The WCRA’s Rodeo Corpus Christi will be preceded by the first-ever PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour held in tandem with Buc Days. The Buc Days PBR Chute Out, presented by Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers, Apr. 30-May 1 at American Bank Center, will feature 45 of the world’s best bull riders going head-to-head against some of the rankest bovine athletes from across the nation.
“Buc Days – Rodeo Corpus Christi is proud to partner with WCRA and PBR,” said Buccaneer Commission President & CEO Johnny Philipello. “This innovative approach to rodeo will allow us to grow prize money for rodeo athletes, showcase the city of Corpus Christi, and ultimately return more dollars toward scholarships for students in South Texas.”
Marking the alliance’s first event of 2021, Rodeo Corpus Christi will be held from May 6-9, paying out more than $545,000 to top western sports athletes in nine 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.
On May 9, the No. 1-seeded athlete from each discipline on the WCRA leaderboard will be joined by the Top 8 athletes from the 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 vie for their share of the more than $500,000 event purse.
Should the victor in any discipline at Rodeo Corpus Christi, presented by Miller Lite, also take the top spot on the podium at two subsequent WCRA Majors, the athlete will be eligible to win an additional $1 million bonus.
Those athletes who were victorious at the most recent WCRA Major held in Oklahoma, who will be looking to remain Triple Crown eligible are Jake Brown (bareback riding), Shorty Garrett (saddle bronc riding), Jose Vitor Leme (bull riding), Colby Lovell (team roping – header), Paul Eaves (team roping – heeler), Chelsey Abernathy (breakaway roping), Michelle Darling (barrel racing) and Riley Webb (tie-down roping).
Continuing its support of youth rodeo, the Lone Star State event will also include the Rodeo Corpus Christi WCRA DY Incentive, affording youth athletes ages 13 and up the opportunity to compete at the prestigious event. The Top-12 timed event athletes on the WCRA DY Leaderboard will compete in the qualifying rounds and be eligible for their own incentive purse and have the same opportunity to advance through the entire rodeo.
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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