SHERIDAN — Elite Rodeo Athletes: League of Rodeo Champions will stop in Sheridan over the 2016 Labor Day weekend on its first-ever nationwide tour.
Eight cities make up the inaugural Elite Rodeo Athletes schedule, and the action will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 & 2 as part of a multi-million dollar deal. Sheridan is the only Wyoming city and the only outdoor venue on the schedule.
The performance will be held at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds Sept. 3 and then telecast nationwide Sept. 7. ERA is owned and operated by the top 80 professional rodeo athletes in the world.
“The Sheridan WYO Rodeo is a popular stop for competing cowboys because of its small-town atmosphere, top quality rodeo and the hospitality that the community of Sheridan provides to us all,” ERA board member and 23-time world champion cowboy Trevor Brazile said in a press release. “We appreciate Sheridan’s forward thinking in supporting our efforts to take professional rodeo to the next level. This kind of progressive and innovative approach displays a genuine passion for the sport.”
ERA competitors have earned 135 world championship titles collectively and include 35 world champions, with Brazile leading the charge. Brazile is a five-time All-Around Cowboy at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo, first taking home the buckle in 1998. Fans will have the opportunity to meet the world-famous cowboys and cowgirls and get their autographs while they’re in town. The impressive ERA slate will also include top cowboys like Kaycee Feild, Clay Tryan, Bobby Mote, Luke Branquinho, Tuf Cooper and Fred Whitfield.
According to the press release announcing the new event, the ERA rodeo will bring the sport’s national champions to Sheridan for one night of non-stop, high-stakes rodeo action. Twelve competitors, the top 10 cowboys in the world and the top two finishers in qualifying events from the 2016 Sheridan WYO Rodeo, will compete in eight events: bareback, steer wrestling, tie down roping, saddle bronc, team roping, bull riding and barrel racing. One-night payouts are estimated to exceed $200,000.
“The ERA is designing an entirely new platform for rodeo entertainment,” Sheridan WYO Rodeo board president Nick Siddle said. “We are thrilled to invite fans from around the world to experience the future of rodeo in Sheridan, Wyoming.”
Sheridan marks the fifth stop on the tour, preceding ERA events in St. Louis, Atlanta and New Orleans. The ERA circuit culminates Nov. 9-13, 2016, with a five-day World Championship at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Payouts are expected to exceed $4 million.
“Elite cowboys, cowgirls and fans traveling from across the U.S for this national event will find a very warm welcome here,” said Shawn Parker, executive director for Sheridan Travel & Tourism.
Ticket information and further event details will be available in the coming months.