Rodeo titles come through Pecos

PECOS The crowds that attend this community’s annual rodeo pack themselves in over four nights each June.

The same can be said for the cowboys and cowgirls who want to compete at this historic event. This year’s West of the Pecos Rodeo features than 500 contestants who have entered the rodeo for a chance at the big money available at the event. set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26-Saturday, June 29, at Buck Jackson Arena in Pecos.

It’s going to be a who’s who in ProRodeo, with 102 qualifiers to the National Finals Rodeo, the National Finals Breakaway Roping or the National Finals Steer Roping. Of those, there are 21 world champions representing 64 gold buckles.


Because the West of the Pecos Rodeo buckle is a trophy they all crave. While rodeo’s gold is the most prestigious, there are some individual honors that carry high recognition, and winning the championship at the “World’s First Rodeo” is definitely one.

Whether it’s bareback riders Clayton Biglow and Jess Pope or steer ropers like Scott Snedecor, Cole Patterson and J. Tom Fisher, the list of rodeo greats is long and powerful. The cowboys who are eager to compete inside that storied arena include tie-down ropers like Shad Mayfield and Marcos Costa or team ropers like reigning titlists Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp.

But it’s the list of women who make up the most world champions. Hailey Kinsel is a four-time barrel racing winner, and there is a host of breakaway ropers – Jackie Crawford (23), J.J. Hampton (17), and Kelsie Domer and Lari Dee Guy (nine each) – who lead the charge

These are people that make their living swinging a rope or riding bucking animals. There are no guarantees in rodeo. They have to beat most of the contestants in the field in their respective events to earn a paycheck, and they pay a fee in order to compete. Unlike other professional sports, there are no teams to pick up the tab on traveling expenses.

Every penny counts, whether paying for fuel or building a qualification to the National Finals. In rodeo, dollars equal championship points. Only the top 15 on the money list in each event at the end of the regular season earn a spot in ProRodeo’s finale, and only the top earners when 2024 comes to a close will be crowned world champions.

Just two years ago, Pope utilized his victory in Pecos to not only advance to the NFR but also walk away from Las Vegas with rodeo’s gold. A year before that, Kaycee Feild used it to catapult him to a record sixth bareback riding world title, and Patterson collected his first steer roping crown that year.

The history at the West of the Pecos Rodeo is filled with greatness, and it continues this June.