WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and the Lazy E Arena have announced a breakthrough collaboration on the Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR) presented Montana Silversmiths. The two properties will join forces to host the World Championship event in Guthrie, Oklahoma the week of July 24, 2023.
The 2023 WCRA Division Youth (DY) event will have $200,000 in added prize money and is open to any youth athlete ages 19 and under (as of the first day of competition) in the world competing in 11 disciplines which include – Bareback Riding, Women’s Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping Heading, Team Roping Heeling, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, and Bull Riding.
“This partnership marks the beginning of a colossal step to growing the sport of rodeo among youth athletes nationwide and allowing them to qualify for a true world championship event,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “For nearly four years, we have been dedicated to improving the sport of rodeo. We’ve taken the most successful elements of the Triple Crown of Rodeo and the Women’s Rodeo World Championship and merged them to create the qualification format for the WCJR.
World Champions will be crowned in all disciplines from both the Junior Leaderboard (ages 19 and under) and the Youth Leaderboard (age 13-15).
According to Mote, historically all DY nominations were $25, and the same points were offered whether you won your local jackpot or the legendary IFYR (International Finals Youth Rodeo). Now, youth athletes will have a chance to nominate those local jackpots at a lower price point of $15.00 and receive a lower point scale at DY5.
“The Lazy E Arena could not have a better partner than The WCRA on this event as we endeavor to bring more opportunities for youth rodeo athletes,” said Dan Wall, Lazy E Arena General Manager. “The Lazy E Arena’s driven youth rodeo mission is consistent with the goals of the WCRA, especially with the advent Youth and Junior Classifications. We are excited about this opportunity to work directly with the WCRA team, for a successful launch to our new partnership.”
Athletes can qualify by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY23 leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes have until June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard in each discipline will qualify for the event with no entry fees.
Athletes will also be able to enter the event through open entry. entry also direct enter into the event, without qualification, and take their shot by competing through the qualifying rounds.
The Divisions Youth World Championship will be carried on PBR RidePass on Pluto TV, which is home to Western sport RidePass. Since launching in May of 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $12,100,000 in new money to rodeo athletes. All rodeo athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA DY, the VRQ, or event format and payout details should be directed to dy.rodeo or download the WCRA DY app HERE.
About WCRA DY (World Champions Rodeo Alliance Division Youth):
WCRA DY is a culmination of a leaderboard race of rodeo events worldwide. Athletes can qualify for the July 2023 $200,000 World Championship Event at the Lazy E Arena by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes can nominate their rodeo efforts starting on May 2, 2022 and have until Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard will qualify for the event with no entry fees.
About Lazy E Arena:
The Fabulous Lazy E Arena – just southeast of Guthrie and northeast of Edmond/Oklahoma City – was established in December 1984, just in time for the ’84 National Finals Steer Roping Finals. Originator of the E, E.K. Gaylord II had a vision that both the National Finals Steer Roping Finals and the National Finals Rodeo would happen the same time, in the same area, creating the most epic days rodeo had seen. While the plan only worked for one year, as the NFR moved to Vegas in ’85, the legacy and standards E.K. set from the beginning still carry on today. From giving PBR its start to the Timed Event Championship of the World, the Lazy E has hosted world champions, world championships and personalities galore. In 2005, Gaylord sold the property to a partnership from Nevada, and in October 2013 the property was sold to the McKinney Family from Midland, Texas. The ownership group has long recognized not only the tremendous facility, but also the importance of the Lazy E’s place in Rodeo and Oklahoma history. The Family has committed to maintaining the Lazy E as the World’s premier western entertainment facility. Many updates and renovations are taking place at the Arena which will only enhance the lure of the Lazy E to the general population.