For 24 years Amarillo, Texas has been home to one of the most amazing events in Western Lifestyle. Each year the Working Ranch Cowboys Association hosts the WRCA World Finals the 2nd weekend of November. This allows for everyone competing to finish with branding and working cattle for the fall works. Last year over 36,469 people attend the 5 -Day event with the largest audience being for the Finals on Sunday with 10,300 watching to see who is crowned as the Champion team for the year.
These cowboys are not hauling custom living quarter rigs with semi-trucks, riding horses that cost more than most mortgages or covered in logos from corporate sponsors. These are real working cowboys. In order for a Ranch Team to compete the Ranch must meet certain cattle ownership requirements. They must either be a 300 head cow/calf operation or own 750 yearlings. The team is comprised of 3 types of contestants. The Ranch Owner can compete as well as a Full time Ranch Employee that has been on payroll for a minimum of 3 months. Day workers can compete if they have earned a minimum of $1,500 in wages from the Ranch that year. These parameters are to provide a level playing field for the competition so that there are no “Ringers” brought in to load a team.
The culmination of the year long qualifying rodeos is the World Finals, but the event is more than just a rodeo. There is a Ranch Horse Show for both adult and youth competitors, a special select sale and an amazing trade show where you can find everything from handmade spurs to custom chaps. This is the real Cowboy Christmas!
The WRCA is the cornerstone of preserving the Western and Ranching ways of life. As the mission statement reads: “To promote ranching on a National and International level and to preserve the lifestyle of the working ranch cowboy.”
The WRCA Foundation is a component of the WRCA that is there to provide aid and assistance to working ranch cowboys and their families in times of need and hardship. The WRCA Foundation also provides a Scholarship Fund for financial assistance for continuing education in a collegiate, trade or vocational program.
This is an event that is truly worth seeing first hand. But be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible, the Saturday and Sunday night performances are usually sold out a year in advance!