2011 College Rodeo Finals headed to Casper June 12-18 | TSLN.com

2011 College Rodeo Finals headed to Casper June 12-18

Heather Hamilton

Courtesy photo/Dan HubbellReturning to the CNFR as the top ranked female in the Central Rocky Mountain region is 2010 CNFR Reserve National Champion All-Around Chelsea Moore, who is also a member of the region's top ranked women's team from Gillette College.

The 63rd College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) will be held June 12-18 in Casper, WY, and will feature the top cowboys and cowgirls from 11 regions across the U.S. and Canada.

The Casper area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) also recently announced that a 10-year contract will keep the Finals in its present location for another decade, continuing a tradition that started 12 years ago.

“We have been here since 1999, and we have one more year on that contract, but earlier this spring I signed the 10-year contract that puts us in Casper until 2022,” commented National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Commissioner Roger Walters on hosting the event in Casper.

“Any time you have a great working relationship with a city, county and state, which is hard to come by, it’s outstanding what you can accomplish,” continued Walters. “Casper has a proven track record of what they’ll do, how they provide things to us, and what they do for the sport of college rodeo. We know how everyone works, and have built a great working relationship here. We’ve established a home here, and Casper has branded the CNFR to the point the city is simultaneous – and at times exceeds – the CNFR in how people label the event.”

The CACVB said the CNFR is a signature event for the state of Wyoming, and generates approximately one million dollars in economic impact annually.

“This is a great location and a great venue for us to stage college rodeo in. The CNFR is not a rodeo, it’s a production, and we want to keep it as a production. We want both the student athletes and the general public to feel as though they are being taken to a different level than with any other thing they experience with rodeo, and the venue here is great to do that in,” added Walters of the holding the event in the Casper Events Center.

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The Casper community also offers golf, movies, museums and a number of restaurants to those competing in and/or attending the CNFR.

“There are so many things available in this community. When you put those things in a location where we also have the facilities to house both our stock and our contestants and their horses, you can’t go anywhere else and beat it,” noted Walters.

The NIRA explained that the top three students in each event, and the top two men’s and women’s teams, from the NIRA’s 11 regions qualify for the Finals.

“This is not the same ol’ drag, because the people and livestock change every year,” noted Walters. “The only thing that remains the same is the intensity and the quality of the production.”

The CACVB added that in 2009, the CNFR was honored by Sports Travel magazine as the year’s “Best Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Collegiate Event.”

“That was a great award to win, and the CNFR had been nominated many times prior to winning. You can’t just say that college rodeo did that – you can say the CNFR committee, which are the local people who work 12 months out of the year for the production that’s held each June, are responsible for that award. Those people, and the CACVB and their representatives, should have been there when I received the award, because their hard work and the hard work of the Casper community are what made it happen,” noted Walters.

“I think that if a person hasn’t been to the CNFR, seeing what we do and how we produce rodeo for those two hours and five minutes will give them a new perspective as a spectator, or as a student athlete. We want them to be able to truthfully say it was an exciting, well run, great production, and that’s how we want to be featured and have people look at us, whether they’re in the stands or competing,” concluded Walters.

Two special, “Bulls, Broncs and Breakaway,” performances are slated for Sunday, June 12 – the first at 1 p.m., and the second at 4 p.m. Slack will be held on Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14 at 7 a.m. All evening performances begin at 7 p.m., including the Championship Round on Saturday, June 18.

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