Right on the heels of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) All-Star Weekend in Houston, fans of rodeo are getting a first-ever chance at an all-star event centered around the western sport. Hosted by the National Western Stock Show Rodeo committee, the Rodeo All Star Weekend will take place April 4-6 in Denver, Colorado at the National Western Events Center.
Unlike many other specialty rodeos that are cropping up across the country, which are by invitation of the hosting committee only, the Rodeo All-Star Weekend gives fans the chance to choose which contestants they want to see competing via fan voting on their web-site, www.rodeoallstar.com.
Sixteen contestants in each of the seven major events will be competing for a share of the $140,000 purse. Contestants will be divided into two semi-finals rounds, the first Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. and the second Saturday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m. The Rodeo All Star Championship Finals are Saturday night, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Fan voting opened on February 16 and continues through March 9; two contestants per event will be chosen from fan votes. Social media is already afire with fans promoting the contestants they want to see and encouraging others to join in the voting.
Although the choices in each event include World Champions like Kaycee Field, Mary Walker, Trevor Brazile, Tuf Cooper and Dustin Elliot, the "Other" category is winning every event thus far in the voting, showing that fans have their own opinions as to their favorite cowboys and cowgirls. In fact, the average percentage that "Other" is getting is well over 50% of the total votes cast.
Next to "Other", the leaders as of February 23 are Ryan Gray, bareback riding (9.4%); Fallon Taylor, barrel racing (13.6%); Chandler Bownds, bull riding (14.6%); Jesse Bail, saddle bronc riding (13.8%); JD Yates, team roping-heading (17.9%); Cesar de la Cruz, team roping-heeling (21.5%); and Shane Hanchey, tie down roping (10.7%). Steer wrestling results not available at this time.
Due to the overwhelming response, the Rodeo All Stars changed voting rules on Saturday, February 23 to allow fans 50 votes per day.
The weekend will include rodeo after parties, the Rodeo All Star Fashion Show, a launch party and Breakfast with Champions along with the three performances of rodeo action. Tickets are on-sale now.