Aug 26, 2014 9:22 PM by Andy Koen

State Fair to host elite rodeo compeition

PUEBLO - The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) announced Tuesday they will bring one of their elite Wrangler Champions Challenge events to the Colorado State Fair next year. The nationally televised contest features only the ten best cowboys in the world in their respective competitions.

In professional rodeo, how much you money win determines how high you are ranked. Sara Muirheid of the PRCA said there will be plenty of cash up for grabs next September at the Champions Challenge in Pueblo.

"It's $124,000 that these guys will be vying for in one night," Muirheid said.

She said the PRCA chose Pueblo in part because of the enthusiasm the community showed for the event.

"We were excited when Pueblo called and they were ecstatic about learning about what this was all about," Muirheid said. "We're happy to have one in our home state, it's exciting for us to drive 50 miles instead of having to fly all over the country, which we love doing, but we're happy to bring one to Colorado."

The competition will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports network giving Pueblo greater visibility and a tourism boost from rodeo fans. Muirheid said the PRCA spends money advertising their events nationwide and rodeo fans know where the elite events are.

"It's like a mini National Finals Rodeo," she said of the event's national appeal.

World class bareback rider and Pueblo native Casey Colletti has competed at the National Finals and knows this event will be special.

"I grew up behind the buck shoots right here my whole life, I mean I come back here for as long as I can remember, hanging out, running around and to be compete here and have the Champions Challenge, that's awesome," Colletti said.

He said to have a big money event in Pueblo so near to the end of Rodeo season will intensify competition.

"That's going to pay $5,000 to $7,000 an event, that's going to be, that's going to be huge."



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