ERA Rodeo World Championship Preview
DALLAS (Nov. 8, 2016) – After 11 events, six cities and $1.4 million paid out in prize money, the 2016 ERA Premier Tour, the place where rodeo's biggest stars compete, culminates its inaugural season with the ERA World Championship, taking place Friday – Sunday, Nov. 11-13 at the American Airlines Center.
Featuring more than 100 competitors and the biggest names in rodeo, to include 23-time World Champion Trevor Brazile; four-time World Champion Bareback Riders Kaycee Feild and Bobby Mote; four-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper Tuf Cooper; 2014 World Champion Barrel Racer Fallon Taylor; fan favorite Team Ropers Derrick Begay and Clay O'Brien Cooper; 11-year old Barrel Racer Chayni Chamberlain, and more, the ERA World Championship is bringing championship rodeo competition back to Dallas where it began.
ERA World Championship week begins on Wednesday, Nov. 9 with the Last Chance Qualifier. This three-day, double-qualifying event takes place at Dallas Fair Park Coliseum and offers up-and-coming rodeo talent a fast-track opportunity to qualify for the ERA World Championship and RFD-TV's THE AMERICAN's semi-finals. The Top 2 finishers in each discipline at the Last Chance Qualifier will advance to compete alongside the best rodeo athletes in the world for their share of $1 million in prize money.
The action begins at 2 p.m. on Wednesday with steer wrestling and barrel racing. The competition continues on Thursday at 10 a.m. with Tie-Down Roping, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding and Saddle Bronc Riding. The Team Ropers will compete Friday morning at 9 a.m. at Will Rogers Coliseum. Each session is free to the general public.
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will open its doors for the ultimate fan experience, the ERA EXPO. The four-day Western lifestyle celebration will offer a shopping mall with 100 vendors, live music, entertainers and rodeo related events every day. It will be free to the general public and give fans numerous opportunities to meet their favorite cowboys, get autographs and take pictures. Anthony Lucia, the voice of the ERA Premier Tour, will also be on site with his show Live with Lucia for a little "real talk with real cowboys" for fans to enjoy.
The ERA EXPO also will feature the Dummy Roping World Championship for Kids on Saturday, Nov. 12, starting at 10:30 a.m. Two categories of children - 8 years old and under and between 9-12 years of age - will compete. The top three finishers in each category will meet on the ERA World Championship arena floor pre-show on Saturday evening at American Airlines Center to determine the winners.
All of the ERA EXPO excitement and entertainment runs from Thursday, Nov, 10 – Sunday, Nov. 11.
On Thursday evening at the ERA EXPO, the ERA Night of Champions celebration will be the official kick-off party for the ERA World Championship. Fans will enjoy athlete introductions featuring the presentation of their competition back number by a Dallas official. There will also be live music by Texas country artist Joey Green and a silent auction whose proceeds will be donated to the families of the fallen Dallas Police Department officers. Fans are invited to attend. The party starts at 6 p.m. and is free to the public.
Before the competition begins on Friday evening, ERA World Championship ticketholders are invited to attend the pre-event meet & greet session with all of the competitors. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the ERA athletes will join their fans on the arena floor to sign autographs, take pictures and personally thank the people who have supported their rodeo passion. It's a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the biggest stars in the sport.
Then, at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday the competition begins. For two and a half hours the world's most talented cowboys, including 37 World Champions who hold 135 world titles, will go head-to-head in hopes that after three days of the most intense competition of their careers, they can claim a share of the $1 million total purse and emerge as the first ERA World Champions.
As they head into Dallas, the ERA athletes atop the event leaderboard are:
Bareback Riding: Steven Dent (Mullen, Nebraska)
Saddle Bronc Riding: Isaac Diaz (Desdemona, Texas)
Bull Riding: Neil Holmes (Houston, Texas)
Steer Wrestling: Tyler Pearson (Louisville, Mississippi)
Tie-Down Roping: Shane Hanchey (Sulphur, Louisiana)
Team Roping: Derrick Begay (Seba Dalkai, Arizona) and Clay O'Brien Cooper (Gardnerville, Nevada)
Barrel Racing: Lisa Lockhart (Oelrichs, South Dakota)
Bareback Riding – For the past decade Bobby Mote, Kaycee Feild and Will Lowe have battled each other for Bareback Riding world titles. The battle that had been taking place in Las Vegas, can only be seen in Dallas this year with less than 300 points separating the Top 5 men.
Saddle Bronc Riding – Isaac Diaz is a saddle bronc riding machine. Throughout the 2016 ERA Premier Tour Diaz hasn't placed lower than sixth at any event. He has been "Mr. Consistent" all year long and is currently tied with barrel racer Lisa Lockhart for having earned the highest total tour points this season.
Bull Riding – The race to become the first ERA Bull Riding Champion is very close. The leader, Neil Holmes, just competed at the 2016 PBR World Finals and is headed to Dallas for the ERA World Championship barely a week later. He leads Canadian ERA bull rider Beau Hill, another former PBR competitor, by only 25 points and PBR alum Cody Campbell by only 100 points. This 8-second competition will be very tight with anyone in the Top 5 having a chance to claim the title.
Barrel Racing – The ladies are also in a battle to win the ERA Barrel Racing World Championship. While Lockhart and her horse Louie are tied with Diaz for earning the most tour points this season, right behind her in the barrel racing standings is 11-year old Chamberlain (Stephenville, TX). Initially, some felt Chamberlain was too young to compete at this professional level, but their reservations have been silenced. After recording the fastest time this season – 13.3 seconds - with her horse Flo Jo in Salt Lake City, Chamberlain's incredible talent has been kicking butt and has placed her just 162.5 points behind Lockhart.
Tickets for the three-day ERA World Championship start at $31 and can be purchased online at www.Tickemaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, at the American Airlines Center Box Office or Ticketmaster kiosks located inside Fiesta Foods, Macy's, Walmart, and the Shops at Willow Bend Mall. Tickets are subject to additional fees. Fans are encouraged to visit one of Cavenders Boot City's Metro locations for a voucher good for $10 off any ERA World Championship Ticket.
For more information about the 2016 ERA World Championship and the ERA Premier Tour, visit www.erarodeo.com.