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The Stars align during National Finals Rodeo 2017.

National Finals Rodeo unfolds in Las Vegas in two weeks, several Montana cowboys will be riding and roping for riches.And an award-winning Montana horse will be providing big bucks, all right.

National Finals Rodeo Live 2017 Las Vegas

“Virgil,” a bareback horse owned by Bar C5 Rodeo Company that grew up near East Glacier on the John McNeely ranch, recently was voted PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year. The big grey gelding is the two-time reigning Bareback Horse of the Year in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.

Angus Foundation can help! Five unique packages will be sold in support of the Angus Foundation during the National Angus Finals Sale in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2017.


“These offerings are very exciting,” says Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president. “Unrestricted funds raised through the sale of these five packages will boost Angus Foundation youth, education and research activities for 2018.”

The Angus Foundation was invited to participate in the auction by Decades of Excellence, the American Angus Hall of Fame and Angus Live. The Angus Foundation will offer the following packages at auction

National Finals Rodeo Live 2017 Las Vegas

After a gunman took the lives of 58 individuals during a country music concert in Las Vegas in September, some in rural America second-guessed their plans for traveling to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The hesitance was probably temporary, but now, as some rodeo fans are buying their tickets for the Thomas and Mack Center, they may not reserve rooms at Mandalay Bay.

One woman decided she wouldn’t be fearful, anxious or angry. Instead she would be helpful. She would be joyful, she would focus on those who need a hand up. And she would do it at Mandalay Bay.


Cowboy Cachet and Artisans, Help Thy Neighbor, Cowboy Christian Connection, the Giving Back Foundation and many other people and entities plan to join forces to raise funds to help farmers and ranchers in need via the Roper Cowboy Marketplace at Mandalay Bay from Dec. 7–16, 2017

Any of these packages would make a unique and memorable Christmas gift, and at the same time will bring recognition to your farm, ranch or company,” Jenkins says. “The Angus Foundation is delighted to offer these packages for Angus enthusiasts’ bidding pleasure either in person or online via AngusLive.com, and we’re honored to partner with the hosts in this unique Angus event held during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

The professional cowboys vote for the honors. That makes horse owners like McNeely proud.

“Still part of my family, yep,” said McNeely. “He’s 13 years old now. A big grey horse that weighs probably 15 or 16 hundred pounds.

National Finals Rodeo Live 2017 Las Vegas

Virgil was born, bred and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation by McNeely.

“I sold him as a 2-year-old to Maury Tate at a bucking horse sale, and Maury sold him to Vern McDonald up there in Lac La Biche, Alberta,” McNeely said.