WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and the Lazy E Arena have announced a breakthrough collaboration on the World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR). 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 award a guaranteed payout of $200,000 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 includes – Bareback Riding, Women’s Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (Heading and Heeling), Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, and Bull Riding.
In February 2022, WCRA announced that roughstock disciplines (Bareback, Saddle Bronc, and Bull Riding) in the Junior class were open for nominations along with Ladies Goat Tying and Ladies Pole Bending in all classifications.
“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. “Being a 4x World Champion Bareback Rider, having the opportunity to grow opportunities for youth roughstock athletes is special and I couldn’t be prouder to help foster and cultivate the upcoming stars of rodeo.”
World Champions will be crowned in all disciplines from both the Junior Leaderboard (ages 19 and under) and the Youth Leaderboard (age 13-15).
Junior World Champions will earn $2,000 each while Youth athletes will be battling it out for the $1,000 World Champion Cash Bonus. The All-Around World Championship cash bonus (Junior= $4,000 Youth= $2,000) and Discipline World Champion Cash Bonus will be awarded based on total points earned from the combined classifications leaderboards.
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.
“What is unique about this partnership is that we have taken the best of two innovative rodeo properties that are designed to provide new opportunities for rodeo athletes and created an even better junior rodeo platform for youth of all ages,” said Dan Wall, Lazy E Arena General Manager. “There are multiple ways to qualify for the 2023 Semi-Finals Rounds and even more ways to win money at this event.”
DY Athletes will have three opportunities to earn a position to the 2023 Championship event with no entry fees:
- 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.
- Generic Qualification from a DY Qualifier Series event.
- Open Entry (entries will open will be announced at a later date)
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