Events that will happen during the National Finals Rodeo 2023

You must be preparing yourself for the 65th National Finals Rodeo! Just like you, we are also excited about the National Finals Rodeo! Rodeo finals will take place from December 7 to December 16!

This year, the finals will make a comeback in Las Vegas, where the top 120 contestants will battle throughout the 10 nights of competition. If you are wondering about events during the National Finals Rodeo 2023.

Rodeo finals return yearly and transcend the bar they set the previous year. Let’s wait and see what this year’s finals hold!

What Will Happen During the National Finals Rodeo?

This event will give the participants the biggest opportunity to hang their names on the wall of fame in the rodeo world. The National Finals Rodeo will return to the Thomas and Mack Center.

Cowboys and bull riders will demonstrate amazing visual effects and incredible pyrotechnics. They will all fight for the immensely coveted title of champion. They will fight and give their solemn effort to bring $10.9 million home.

You will enjoy seeing the best cowboys, animals, and barrel racers in the world. The top 15 contestants from Bareback Riding and Team Roping will compete in the finals, including headers and heelers, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bull riding.

These contestants will be chosen based on the money they earned during the regular season, which comprises ProRodeo Tour events, Justin Playoffs, and, for a few bull riders, PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour earnings.

List of Events

1. Bareback Riding

The rules of this game require riders to stay on a bucking rose for 8 seconds. He can hang on a rig using a cinch and latigo.

The maximum score of this game is 100, and marks are given based on the ride’s success. A cowboy has to show his utmost control over a horse that is notably difficult to ride.

The more efficient he is, the more he scores. The cowboy who scores the most wins. It is hard, but Kaycee Feild superseded. He is the first rider who has won six titles, and his standing was $357,420.

Can anyone reach the benchmark he has set? Time will tell.

2. Steer Wrestling

This is the most physically threatening and dangerous event in the rodeo game. The cowboy has to jump off his horse onto a Corriente steer. Then he has to wrestle it to the ground by holding its horns.

The cowboy who wrestles the steers to the ground by portraying courage and efficiency the fastest will win the game.

It is challenging because there are a lot of risk factors involved.

  • Firstly, he needs to jump off a running horse and get a grasp on its horns.
  • Secondly, he can miss the steer.
  • Thirdly, there is a great possibility of the thrown steer falling on top of him.

Steve Duhon has the fastest steer wrestling record. It is completed only within 3.0 seconds. He made this in 1986. Can anyone beat his record? Let’s wait.

3. Saddle Bronc Riding

The rider must use a specific western saddle without a horn. He has to stay on a bucking horse for 8 seconds using that saddle and bronc rein. This game has a 100-point maximum score, which determines the ride’s success.

A cowboy must showcase the greatest control over a horse, which is significantly challenging to ride. He gains more points, the more apt he is.

The cowboy with the highest score wins. As hard as it sounds, Ryder Wright became the champion in this event only at the age of 19. He earned $284,938!

4. Barrel Racing

This competition is based on the cowboy’s speed and agility. In this game, the barrels are arranged in a cloverleaf manner. The rider and his horse will gallop around it.

He has to be quick and ensure he doesn’t stumble or slip. The one who is the fastest wins. You will be amazed to know that Hailey Kinsel won this thrice. In barrel racing, her record is $270,165. Incredible!

5. Bull Riding

The cowboy has to ride full-grown bucking bulls for eight seconds. Like other events, it will be scored within 100 marks. The one who is efficient and fastest wins the game. It is different because it involves dangerous bulls.

Bulls are notoriously dangerous and unpredictable, and the rider may get injured, but the game authority recruited bullfighters to distract bulls to avoid any accidents.

Surprisingly, Stetson Wright set the record in the bull riding single season at $592,144. Can anyone cross the benchmark this year that he has set? 

6. Team Roping

This is the only team event in the whole rodeo game. There will be two ropers who will capture and restrain the steer. Two sets of riders and horses will form a header and heeler.

The header will lasso the running steer’s horns. The heeler will lasso the steer’s two hind legs.

After catching the animals, the riders will turn towards each other and pull the steer lightly between them. It is done so that the rope remains taut. The team that ropes their steers the fastest will win.

Fred Whitfield completed the task the fastest. He roped and tied 10 heads in 84.0 seconds! Superb, right?

7. Tie Down Roping

The cowboy has to rope a calf around the neck with a riata. He will descend and walk to the calf. He has to throw the calf on the ground and bind its three feet together. Now his horse will stop, and it will settle on the rope. If the calf falls, he has to wait for it to get up before completing the task.

The horse needs to keep the calf fastened to the rope. The cowboy who can knot the calf the fastest will win. Caleb Smidt set the highest record in this event by earning $225,221.

We are eagerly waiting for someone to break the record this year!

8. All-Around

It’s not an event. It is an award given to the cowboys who have earned the most money in two or more events. Stetson Wright didn’t stop just by making a record in bull riding. In the all-around event, his record was $758,829. Wonderful, isn’t it?

The rodeo finals will have 10 rounds. These 10 rounds will be held on 10 consecutive days. Cowboys and bull riders will earn points by securing first to sixth in any round. However, their earnings will increase when they secure first to eighth positions.

After each round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, there will be two champions for each round. In the case of team roping, there will be four champions.

 The average winner will be the person who has won the finals with the highest cumulative score or time during the 10 consecutive rounds. Again, an average winner is crowned after every event.

The world champion will be the one who has completed the year with the highest amount of money. It includes the contestant’s earnings throughout the game.

The world champion and average winner can be the same person or different people.

In 2022, Hailey Kinsel won her fourth championship in 5 years. Let’s see who will get the crown of championship this year!

 The night will be glamorized with the presence and mesmerizing voices of singers like Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, and Terri Clark. Their songs will bring the cowboy spirit to the city.


How to make it to the National Finals Rodeo?

The PRCA has set certain requirements for tour rodeos. The rodeos must have their own tour standings and make it to the top 23 to be in the finals.

What is the NFR style?

NFR stands for timeless and elegant cowboy looks. You will find classic jewelry, clean-cut lines, and ravishing leather boots. This is the style of NFR.


This is the biggest platform for cowboys and girls to showcase their talent in front of the world. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association has been organizing it for the last 65 years.

All the events are super interesting and appealing to watch. The seats for the finals are limited. Book your ticket as soon as possible if you want to watch it in person.

Side by side, you can watch the finals on various streaming platforms. Let’s look forward to the events during the National Finals Rodeo 2023!

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.