Madison Iager Weighs in on WCRA’s Game-Changing North Carolina Event

Madison Iager of Woodbine, Maryland, weighs in on how the WCRA's newest impacts East Coast barrel racers.
Madison Iager WCRA east coast
Courtesy Iager by Bull Stock Media

The WCRA is bringing a Triple Crown of Rodeo event to Tryon, North Carolina, and the $400,000 guaranteed payout will mark its place in the history books as the richest rodeo to ever land East of the Mississippi.

The announcement sent a murmur through the Eastern rodeo community. Madison Iager, originally from Woodbine, Maryland, is a multiple-time First Frontier Circuit Finals qualifier and helps her family produce events when she isn’t commuting to Texas to chase rodeo dollars. Iager is not only an influential member of the Northeastern rodeo community, she also works as a cosmetologist around her rodeo schedule. Iager was one of many who excitedly checked their phones after the announcement of the WCRA’s newest event hit on Thursday, October 13.

BRM visited with Iager to get her take on the Tryon, North Carolina, event, which will take place on October 6-7, 2023.

Q: What previous WCRA events have you attended?

A: I qualified for Rodeo Corpus Christi and the Women’s Rodeo World Championships both in 2022.

Q: Why has the WCRA worked for you in the past? What about the association do you like? 

A: The WCRA just makes sense to me. It allows me to nominate any event, anywhere, anytime—regardless if it’s a WPRA rodeo, open rodeo, or I’ve got multiple horses on the trailer at a barrel race. So, not only do I get to compete at events I planned on entering, but with WCRA I get to double dip and earn points to make a segment finals. On top of the payout at the event, I’m also eligible for weekly bonuses. The WCRA is like, it’s own sidepot in a sense.

Iager progressed from the qualifying round to the performances at Rodeo Corpus Christi in 2022.

Q: Are you actively nominating any upcoming segments?

A: I’m actively nominating for Cowboy Christmas 22 and Women’s World 23.

Q: Will you be planning on nominating for the WCRA Major in North Carolina next year?

A: Yes I will absolutely be nominating for the new event in Tryon, NC. I’d be silly not to!

Q: As somebody who competes on the East Coast, what does this event mean for barrel racers from the Eastern United States?

A: It’s a big opportunity. The East hasn’t seen anything quite like a $400,000 payout. I was raised in Maryland, but I winter in Texas to chase better ground and better payout. Now, I don’t have to run so far to find it. I am unbelievably excited to see something this big come to the East.

Q: Do you feel that the WCRA cares about Eastern residents? 

A: I feel like the WCRA cares about everybody in rodeo. Any event that you’re competing at counts, so it doesn’t matter where you are from in this world. There is equal opportunity to nominate. WCRA is truly all for rodeo.

In my personal opinion, the WCRA is the association for the underdog. They’re giving anybody the chance at $1 million— regardless of their rank in the ProRodeo world standings, regardless of where they reside , regardless of if they decide to stay home and choose a career that’s non-equestrian. Ultimately, the WCRA provides the opportunity to compete for mega amounts of money at a miniscule nomination fee. Them, there’s no fee once you get to a Segment Finals. WCRA is changing the game of rodeo as we know it. 

About the Triple Crown of Rodeo

Courtesy WCRA

The Triple Crown of Rodeo, presented by Lazy E Ranch and Arena, is a series of annual major rodeo events which includes a bonus that will pay $1 million to any one athlete or collection of athletes who win first place in three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo events are all featured in CBS network television broadcasts each year.

“This landmark addition (of the North Carolina event) to the Triple Crown of Rodeo creates the richest rodeo east of the Mississippi and takes world class rodeo to the East Coast,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “This facility has long been a resort destination for the equestrian industry and is surrounded by exciting family entertainment activities. The timing of the event is also an advantage being outside of the regular rodeo season.” 


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Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort is one of the most picturesque equestrian facilities in the country and located within the Blue Ridge Foothills of Mill Spring, North Carolina. The year-round event venue features multi-discipline international and national equestrian competitions alongside live music, arts and entertainment, and holiday events.

With onsite shops, diverse dining options, plus a robust entertainment calendar, non-equestrian visitors are equally marveled by the Tryon Resort experience. 

Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort spans 1,600 acres, boasts 13 competition arenas, 1,400 permanent stalls, and a variety of restaurants, shops, and lodging options. The Tryon Resort family of brands is completed by a nearby sporting clay course at Cleghorn Gun Club as well as the Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club.

“We are thrilled to host the Triple Crown of Rodeo and build the most iconic rodeo on the east coast,” said Sharon Decker, President of Tryon International Equestrian Center. “We look forward to growing this marquee rodeo for years to come highlighting our facility and the Carolinas on a CBS Sports to Millions.”

Rodeo athletes from around the globe are eligible to qualify to compete at Triple Crown of Rodeo events by using the Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) mobile app.  

The top athletes on the WCRA Leaderboard in each discipline will compete for their piece of the prize money at the WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo events across nine disciplines which include – bareback riding, women’s breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping (heading and heeling), tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. 

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