In a joint press conference, Sutton Rodeo and the PRCA announced the Wrangler 2014 Champions Challenge TV schedule on January 16, 2014. The Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo on February 4, 2014 will be the first stop. The new TV-friendly series will air on CBS Sports Net and is modeled after the mid 1980s Winston Rodeo Series.
The top seven contestants in the world standings from 2013 were drafted following the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Sponsored Teams include Wrangler, Justin Boots, B&W Trailer Hitches, Coors and three remaining PRCA teams awaiting sponsors. The Champions Challenge also includes three wildcard teams, explained Sarah Muirheid, Director of Marketing for the PRCA.
Cowboy Lifestyle Network and Kirchmann Media Group were on hand for the official announcement in Rapid City. Sutton Rodeo contributed $40,000 in prize money for the $128,000 payout on February 4, 2014. The Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots will have eight stops across the United States from February to September.
The event dates include: (air dates are different)
- February 4th – Rapid City, SD
- February 27th – Scottsdale, AZ
- May 17th – Redding, CA
- May 31st – Spanish Fork, UT
- September 7th – Puyallup, WA
- September 17th – Amarillo, TX
- September 27th – Omaha, NE
Ten teams of contestants will compete which are compressed of the above sponsors plus three wild card teams. The wild card teams will constantly be changing based on the selection criteria. Wild Card Teams include current world standings leader, the venue champion and the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour standings leader.
Muirheid identified the wildcard teams as the PRCA, Pro Rodeo Gear and Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for now. Cowboy Lifestyle Network and Kirchmann Media Group asked how that will be handled if a contestant is already drafted on a team. Muirheild stated, the invitation will roll down to the next eligible contestant. For example if Tuf Cooper is leading the 2014 Tie-Down World Standings, the wild card position will roll down to number two. In theory, the top seven Tie-Down Ropers could already be on teams opening up the wild card slot for number eight through 30 in the world standings.
The draft was modeled off the NFL draft with selections, trades and strategy. Continue to stayed tuned for more details from Cowboy Lifestyle Network and Kirchmann Media Group as they cover the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo January 31 – February 8, 2014.
Read the official press release feature article below:
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