STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University is the presenting sponsor for the Wednesday, Dec. 9, performance of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Additionally, the university will showcase Tarleton students and staff both at the FanZone activation area and at a booth in the Cowtown Christmas Exposition in the Fort Worth Stockyards during the entire NFR run Dec. 3-12.
Fourteen National Finals qualifiers have ties to Tarleton — bareback riders Richmond Champion and Leighton Berry; saddle bronc riders Brody Cress, Jacobs Crawley and Isaac Diaz; tie-down ropers Haven Meged and Timber Moore; team roping heelers Shay Dixon Carroll and Paden Bray; breakaway ropers Jackie Crawford, Kirby Eppert and J.J. Hampton; steer wrestler Jace Melvin; and barrel racer Cheyenne Wimberley. All are past students except for Bray, who is a current student and a rodeo team member.
The NFR is the PRCA’s season-ending championship, widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier rodeo. Held annually since 1959, it is professional rodeo’s richest and most prestigious event.
Usually held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, the site was moved to Texas for 2020.
One of the top programs in the nation, Tarleton’s rodeo team has been part of a winning tradition since 1947. In its 73-year history, Tarleton has won seven national team championships and 28 individual national titles. One of the largest teams in the nation, Tarleton features 103 card-holding student members in 2019-2020.