Wrangler Million Dollar Tour opens season in Rapid City
The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, the first of 17 stops on the 2009 Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, is scheduled for Feb. 5-7 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D. Rodeo officials have received more than 500 entries for this 32nd annual edition of the BHSSR, including those from 19 past or present world champions.
Six-time World Champion All-Around Cowboy Trevor Brazile is double entered at Rapid City, where he will compete in team roping with Patrick Smith and in the tie-down roping — making his first appearance in that event since straining his medial collateral ligament in Round 9 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last December.
Also in the tie-down roping field are reigning World Champion Stran Smith, past World Champion Joe Beaver and 23-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Mike Johnson.
The steer wrestling field includes the last three world champions — Luke Branqunho (2008), Jason Miller (2007) and Dean Gorsuch (2006) — while the bareback riding competition will feature three-time World Champion Will Lowe going against two-time World Champion Bobby Mote.
With a committee purse of $10,000 for each event, the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is one of nine rodeos on the Silver Level of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour. There are eight rodeos in the series on the Gold Level, with a committee purse of at least $20,000 per event. The top 24 contestants in each event (24 pairs in team roping) at the end of the regular season advance to the first round of the playoffs in Puyallup, Wash., Sept. 11-13. The Million Dollar Tour Championships will be be held Sept. 24-27, in Omaha, Neb.
Total prize money for the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour and playoffs will exceed $6.2 million.