Photo by Matt Blair.
Open the chutes! Great American Country presents ten nights of live action from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), Dec. 5-Dec.14. The WNFR marks the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and is widely considered the world’s foremost, richest and most prestigious rodeo showcasing the best cowboys, barrel racers and livestock anywhere.
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“Rodeo reflects values of competition, hard work and passion, which fit perfectly on Great American Country, where we celebrate all those same ideals,” said Sarah Trahern, senior vice president and general manager of Great American Country. “Rodeo takes on a life all its own, with a little danger and a lot of heart. And for ten nights, we commemorate this unique lifestyle and offer viewers an immersion into a gritty, real American subculture.”
During the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which broadcasts live from Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center, the top 15 contestants in seven competition categories, as determined by total winnings during the regular season, plus select post-season events, compete for world championship status. Events include Bareback Riding, in which contestants ride a bucking bronc using only a rigging resembling a suitcase handle; Steer Wrestling, featuring a “bulldogger” who descends his horse to wrestle a steer to the ground as quickly as possible; Team Roping, with two athletes – a header and heeler – working in concert to rope a steer; Saddle Bronc Riding, where a fluid, synchronized eight-second ride is the goal; Tie-Down Roping, where a cowboy and his horse work together to rope, flank and tie a calf; Barrel Racing, featuring riders completing a zigzag pattern around three barrels for the fastest time; and Bull Riding, a one-handed, eight-second quest aboard a 2,000-pound bull.
“This is the super bowl of ProRodeo,” said Karl Stressman, PRCA commissioner. “We have the best athletes against the best stock, and it all leads up to crowning the PRCA World Champions. Great American Country has been a tremendous partner in bringing the WNFR to viewers and helping drive the excitement around our biggest event of the year.”
In addition to December’s live coverage of the WNFR, Great American Country brings viewers closer to the action with the nightly series Inside the WNFR, co-anchored by Justin McKee, a PRCA announcer and Suzanne Alexander, host of Great American Country’s newest music series Great American Playlist, debuting Nov. 4. Inside the WNFR episodes will feature recaps of the events, standings reports, athlete profiles and more, and also runs Dec. 5-14.
For the first time since acquiring the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2011, Great American Country will broadcast the ten-night event in high-definition. Viewers can request their cable or satellite provider to add Great American Country in HD by visiting http://gac.viewerlink.tv.