Members of the Fort Worth City Council, at Tuesday’s meeting, were presented with their annual badges to enjoy this year’s 124th rendition of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, which kicks off Friday (Jan. 17). Stock Show Chairman Ed Bass made the presentation.
“If I’m here, the Stock Show is near,” Bass said with a laugh, making his annual statement.
Bass noted the historical significance of this year’s event, the first to be held in the new Dickies Arena, which opened in November.
“We’ve been dreaming of an arena like this for a long time,” he said. “Please come join us in the realization of this dream.”
Then, after the badges were presented, Mayor Betsy Price said enthusiastically, “It’s officially rodeo time!”
Price then added, “Fort Worth is incredibly blessed to have this facility, and we’re incredibly blessed to have the longest running indoor rodeo in the world right here in Cowtown.”
And there’s plenty new at this year’s Stock Show.
The new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth is a showcase for many sporting events, including basketball and rodeo.
In fact, when the Fort Worth Stock Show holds its annual rodeo this year, folks might notice a sort of basketball feel – as in the competition will be in the format of a tournament, sort of like basketball teams use during tournaments. The event is even being renamed the FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament.
The tournament will feature 56 contestants divided into seven brackets, competing from Jan. 24-Feb. 4. The first and second highest earners will advance to the semifinals on Feb. 6-7.
Seven other third-place money earners will qualify as wild-card entries, competing on Feb. 5, along with the highest non-qualifying money earner from the bracket round.
From the 16 semifinalists, four will advance from Round A and Round B to the finals, eventually determining the ultimate champion. One ride, one chance to earn the title of FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament champion.
No scores or times carry over to the next round at any level.
This year’s rodeo will feature eight events: bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping (new), barrel racing, and bull riding.
The purse for this year’s rodeo tournament is over $1.1 million, exceeding last year’s purse by about $200,000.
All rodeo performances will be broadcast live on The Cowboy Channel.
“Each year our stock contractor, Rafter G Rodeo Company, has brought outstanding bucking bulls and horses,” said Matt Brockman, Communications Manager for the FWSSR. “This year they are raising the bar even higher with stock that will include horses from the Calgary Stampede.”
WHATABURGER FAN ZONE
Nothing beats getting up close to a Whataburger, or being up close for the action at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
Both are legends in the Lone Star State. And this year they are teaming up to bring visitors to the event an up-close experience like never before at the historic event, which is in its 124th year and runs from Jan. 17 through Feb. 8.
Along with this being the debut year for the Stock Show & Rodeo in the new Dickies Arena, another first will be the Whataburger Fan Zone.
The Whataburger Fan Zone will allow spectators to rub shoulders with rodeo’s biggest stars from among the top 56 in each event in a relaxed and friendly environment. They’ll also enjoy watching interviews with athletes conducted by commentators from The Cowboy Channel and its popular program, “Western Sports Roundup.”
Contestants in the legendary rodeo will appear at the Whataburger Fan Zone during the PRCA Extreme Bull Riding “Bulls’ Night Out” performances Jan. 21-22 . They will also be on hand for the $1 Million dollar PRORODEO Tournament Jan. 24–Feb. 8 for autographs, fan photos, as well as Q&A with fans and the professional broadcasters.
The Whataburger Fan Zone will be located on the southeast concourse of Dickies Arena with athletes available after each event.
Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes said the Whataburger Fan Zone will make the rodeo be more fan-friendly than ever before.
“Professional rodeo athletes are among the most engaged when it comes to professional athletes and their fans. Having some of the greats in the sport available to interact with their admirers is another fantastic element to our rodeo experience,” Barnes said.
Whataburger Regional Director of Operations John Dolan added the fan experience should be an unforgettable one.
“We haven’t seen this type of fan access before, and we’ve enjoyed working with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo to bring this new space to life,” Dolan said.
EDUCATING AND FUN? YOU BET!
Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos indoors when it’s too cold outside. For three weeks the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has you covered (Jan. 17-Feb. 8).
The legendary event – that’s true, the motto is “This thing is legendary” – has a plethora of entertaining and educational events.
First, and adults will find this most enjoyable, children 5 and under are free, while those ages 6-16 are only $5. Adults are $12. Admission gets visitors into the museums surrounding the show, such as the National Cowgirl Museum, the Cattle Raisers Museum and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, thanks to Central Market’s Moo-seum Experience.
Among the opportunities for youngsters – and adults – to have a good time are:
*Riding a corn harvest simulator.
*Playing interactive farm games.
*Seeing how cotton is ginned.
*Learn about the world of farming at Planet Agriculture, presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.
*At the Milking Parlor and watch a live cow get milked, learning how it goes from cow to a glass.
*Visit the Stockman’s Cafe, with ample seating for the whole brood and video screens to keep the young ones occupied.
*The Children’s Barnyard features mother farm animals and their young offspring, including lambs, calves, piglets and ducklings.
*Touch live animals at the Mattress Firm Petting Zoo.
Also, exhibitors throughout the livestock barns love sharing stories, and will often let you scratch an ear or rub the back of one of their animals.
On Jan. 26, the Texas Wildlife Association is coordinating “Kids Gone Wild!” Youngsters can get up close to such animals as a desert tortoise and red-tailed hawk. They can also catch a live catfish.
And if that’s not enough, save some time to visit the carnival that accompanies the show.
For more on everything the FWSSR has to offer this year, visit https://www.fwssr.com/.