ProRodeo Sports News - Sept. 4, 2020


ProRodeo athletes reflect on pandemic’s impact on 2020 Looking Back Phillip Kitts photo Face masks became a common sight at many of the 2020 summer ProRodeo competitions for contestants, personnel and fans. Pictured above is a military recognition held during the Alamosa (Colo.) Round-Up at the end of August.

BY MATT NABER T he brunt of COVID- 19’s regulations struck the ProRodeo world on Friday, March 13, leaving some cowboys wondering if Friday the 13th really is an unlucky day. Many ProRodeo athletes first heard about the pandemic when RodeoHouston canceled in the middle of competition March 11. Two days later, Rodeo Austin (Texas) announced it was also canceling. After that weekend, ProRodeo competitions were shut down until Cave Creek (Ariz.) Rodeo Days kicked offMay 22. Since, about half of ProRodeo’s expected competitions canceled until 2021 and several rescheduled to later in the season. As rodeos canceled and postponed, cowboys sifted through the PRCA Business Journal to try and plot a route to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Competitors quickly saw how much the sport meant to one another. “You got to see how much everyone wants to rodeo and how badly they want to go,” said ZekeThurston, the two-time saddle bronc riding world champion (2016, 2019). “Everyone is at every rodeo. It might have

$1,500 added at a little rodeo and it’ll take 86 (points) to even place at them, which is crazy. That’s cool for those rodeos because most years they don’t get to experience having people from the Top 15 or 20.” HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM Bull rider Roscoe Jarboe was on his way to Houston when he first heard about the pandemic. Team ropers Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan were in the middle of competing in Houston when the rodeo canceled partway through. Even as competitions started to resume, more canceled during the summer run. “Everyone was at a loss and holding on and asking, ‘What’s next?’ and, ‘Where can we go?” Tryan said. “It definitely isn’t a day-by-day deal, it’s way faster.” Tryan used the down time to experiment with his roping. “We don’t get any down time during normal years, so it’s a rush to change things,” Tryan said.

ProRodeo Sports News 9/4/2020


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