SHERIDAN — They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Sheridan WYO Rodeo officials decided to ignore this slogan, instead returning home from the National Finals Rodeo this week with hardware and also knowledge they hope to apply to the 2016 event.
WYO board member Jeff Wells said representatives went to the NFR kickoff last week, which included conventions and social events through the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in addition, of course, to the largest and most competitive rodeo in the world.
The festivities started with the WYO Rodeo being named the 2015 Large Rodeo of the Year by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
Wells said the award mainly reflects a diligent effort by the fairgrounds crew that prepares the arena. While the recognition was “pretty cool,” Wells pointed out the WYO is no stranger to honors. The rodeo annually vies for the Mountain States Circuit Rodeo of the Year, which encompasses the entire region.
Part of the reason for the longstanding success can be attributed to the trips to Las Vegas. The PRCA offers various seminars leading up to the main events. Topics cover aspects of rodeo like animal welfare, entertainment, technology, social media, marketing and plenty more.
“You’re able to learn. You’re able to familiarize yourself and keep current on so many of the different issues that surround the sport,” Wells said. ”And hopefully, through that networking and through those seminars, we can bring something home that will further help our event.”
The importance of networking cannot be overstated. WYO officials generally attend a trade show where representatives can meet with contracting personnel for any part of rodeo, from stock to clowns.
Also, as one of the top 35 rodeos in the nation, keeping the WYO name out there is important. It’s not unusual for a Trevor Brazile or Tuf Cooper to come shake hands and thank board members for a high-quality event.
“We’re certainly somebody that has a reputation,” Wells said. “(The WYO) is a place, a venue and a community that these people want to come to.”
The WYO Rodeo strives to improve the overall experience for rodeo attendees each year. The WYO’s 86th year should bring some arena improvements that will enhance the quality even further in 2016.
Aside from that, all the fan favorites — including the World Championship Indian Relay Races — will be back next year, Wells confirmed.