Since 1995, the weekend after the National Finals Rodeo (now the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo) has been like Day 11 for the Roughstock riders. For some it’s a chance to get on the great stock that has been in Vegas since Thanksgiving, and for others it’s one more time up on these powerful animals that have brought them money and pain. Every year five to seven contractors bring their best to Billings, and the top competitors are here to support this event.
Friday night is the dinner banquet and dance. It’s a perfect time for contestants and personnel to relax and get together before the holidays. Legendary rodeo announcer Bob Tallman will be Master of Ceremonies. It is a great time for fans and sponsors, who make this event possible, to meet, take photos and get acquainted with the cowboys.
Saturday is the stockdraw and Cowboy Brunch, (sponsored by Rocky Mountain Air and Albertsons) also the media’s chance to visit with these athletes. Cowboys go to sponsor’s stores for autographs, and there is always a group to spend time with children at the hospitals. Bull Mountain Grille, EEC Construction, and Bottles & Shots sponsor a hospitality room for our generous Rodeo Sponsors. At 7 PM the lights go down for the opening and most are in their seats. Sankey Rodeo will produce an opening memory. Will Rasmussen will tell our story again, and few dry eyes are in the house. We will belt out the national anthem with enthusiasm, and a few seconds later a powerful animal will burst from the chutes with the first man laying it on the line for the money and the buckle. When the sixty are done and you look around hoping it’s not over…we will move downstairs and the band is ready to play.