Thousands of rodeo enthusiasts are converging on Las Vegas beginning this week for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) and, as the Official Truck of the WNFR and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) for 35 years, the Ram Truck brand will be there.
Ram Truck is bringing several interactive fan experiences to Las Vegas Dec. 1-10 for WNFR, in support of the Ram Rodeo Series. Rodeo and truck fans can take part in numerous activities around the Las Vegas strip, including performances by country music artist Natalie Stoval and the Drive every night, daily autograph signings by various country music artists, nightly WNFR viewing parties, truck displays and a new interactive Ram virtual reality 360 experience.
“Ram is proud to be a part of the Ram Rodeo Series and WNFR for 35 years, as trucks are a must-have vehicle for both those who compete and fans alike,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “As thousands of rodeo fans take over Las Vegas during WNFR, it is a great opportunity for Ram to showcase the capabilities and best-in-class features of our complete truck lineup of America’s longest lasting pickups.”
Ram trucks play an integral role in the rodeo circuit as cowboys and stock contractors haul their prized horses and livestock across the country every weekend throughout the year, leading up to celebrating their accomplishments at the annual WNFR, the final rodeo event of the PRCA season.
Large crowds are anticipated at shows this rodeo season as an animal rights group acknowledges it has no evidence against the next show off the mark.
South Island rodeo crowd numbers reached record highs earlier this year, with thousands attending the Methven and Winchester rodeos over Labour Weekend.
Rural sports commentator Craig Wiggins said a combined crowd of more than 11,000 people attended the two Canterbury events.
The crowds were “the strongest we’ve ever seen”, Wiggins said.
The crowds swelled even as animal rights group SAFE issued statements ahead of each rodeo calling for people to boycott them.
This week, SAFE issued a statement urging people to “steer clear” of the Waimate Rodeo.
Contacted this week, SAFE campaigns officer Marianne Macdonald acknowledged the group had no evidence of animal mistreatment at the Waimate Rodeo.
She was also unsure as to whether any of the organisation’s local members had ever attended the event.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Buckin’ Bull Party at The Fremont, including the mechanical bull-riding competition and bikini bull-riding, has been cancelled. The Filament bar will still host free NFR viewing parties from now through Dec. 10.
Professional rodeo announcer Jody Carper will lend his voice during the action. All that participants need to bring is their courage as there will be a coach on-site to assist. Contestants can practice their skills during the NFR Viewing Party for just $5 per ride, then buckle up for the competition at 9 p.m. each night.
They will be scored by three special guest judges: Troy Lerwill, the six-time PRCA Comedy Act of the Year winner; Ronald Burton, celebrated rodeo clown and featured participant in the award-winning documentary, “Man in the Can;” and Dennis Halstead, four-time Canadian Professional Rodeo Entertainer of the Year. The top three scorers will receive $500 in prizes and a championship buckle each session. Plus, don’t miss bikini bull-riding, Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11, after the Buckin’ Bull Party contest concludes.
After “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” put the launch of the DC/Warner Bros. universe on shaky ground, the studio came back swinging at Comic-Con Saturday armed with movie stars, brand new footage and a sense of humor.
The 6,500-some fans in Hall H got a glimpse of never-before-seen footage from the superhero all-star film “Justice League ” from director Zack Snyder, as well as the action-packed first trailer for “Wonder Woman ,” starring Gal Gadot.
Snyder and the cast flew in from London to tease “Justice League,” which is currently in production and not set to hit theaters until November 2017.
The lively “Justice League” footage highlights Bruce Wayne’s recruitment of what will be the Justice League team, including The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa). Ben Affleck, who plays Bruce Wayne/Batman, hyped the film with his fellow cast mates, including Gadot and Superman actor Henry Cavill — putting to bed any lingering suspicions that his character was actually killed off for good at the end of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Green Bay Packers will have 326 consecutive home sellouts by the end of this season, in a streak dating to 1960, and that doesn’t count playoff games. In college football, Nebraska reached 355 home sellouts this year, going almost as far back as the Pack, to 1962.
But make no mistake, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is right up there with the best of them. The first go-round of the 2016 WNFR rides at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the Thomas &Mack Center, setting off another run of 10 sold-out nights that will bring the Super Bowl of Rodeo’s streak to an even 300.
“When the WNFR moved in, we knew we were on to something,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, which operates the WNFR, working in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
It took a couple of years for that “on to something” to really take hold, but since 1987, every night of the WNFR has been a sellout.