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PRCA offers two new rodeo scholarships

Reading, writing and arithmetic are the foundation of a good education, and the fourth R – rodeo – could help tomorrow’s ProRodeo athletes fund their academic goals.

For many years, the PRCA has supported the academic endeavors of the up-and-coming cowboys and cowgirls competing at the National High School Finals Rodeo with $6,500 in scholarships. 

This year, the PRCA and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame are introducing two new scholarship opportunities – the PRCA Gold Buckle Scholarship (two, worth $1,500 each), and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame’s Western Heritage Scholarship, worth $500. And, the annual National High School Finals Rodeo Knowledge Bowl has a $1,500 prize for each member of the winning team and $650 for each member of the second-place team. 

PRCA Gold Buckle Scholarship

The PRCA Gold Buckle Scholarships are awarded to the two individuals that most value the traditions and legacy for which the PRCA stands. The ideal candidates will plan to join the PRCA, chase the gold buckle and become ambassadors for the sport of professional rodeo.

Funding for both $1,500 scholarships comes directly from the PRCA. 

There are two eligibility requirements for this scholarship:
• Plans to compete with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association on a collegiate rodeo team. 
• Must be competing on a NIRA collegiate team in a minimum of one PRCA-sanctioned discipline, which includes only: team roping, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.

In addition to meeting the NHSR Foundation Scholarship application requirements (, applicants for the PRCA Gold Buckle Scholarship must submit a 2-3 minute video addressing the question: What would it mean to you, to be a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association? 

Within the video, applicants must state the name of the NIRA school he or she will be attending in the fall. The video must be the original work of the applicant and kept within the 2-3 minute length. Videos less than two minutes long or longer than three minutes will not be eligible and the scholarship application will be considered incomplete. 

Applications are due by July 16 at 6 p.m., and videos can be emailed to The winning video essay(s) may be used for promotional purposes including the winners name, picture and likeness to promote the PRCA, the sport of rodeo and related PRCA events.

ProRodeo Hall of Fame Western Heritage Scholarship 

Young cowboys and cowgirls who exemplify western heritage, the code of the west and living by cowboy ethics in his or her everyday life could win a $500 scholarship through the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Western Heritage Scholarship. Funding for this scholarship is provided by the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In addition to meeting the NHSR Foundation Scholarship requirements, applicants must submit an additional 250-word (minimum) essay answering the following question: “In what ways do I live my life daily that exemplifies western heritage and shows that I am a role model for the cowboy lifestyle and symbolize ethics, responsibility, honesty, pride, hard work, fairness and trust?”

Applicants can turn in their western heritage essay to the PRCA booth at the National High School Finals Rodeo’s trade show to be eligible for this scholarship. Essay writers are reminded to make sure their name and state/province are on the essay. Applications, transcripts and Foundation essays can be turned in to the Foundation Office. The deadline for both is July 16 at 6 p.m.

NHSFR Knowledge Bowl 

The National High School Finals Rodeo brings together the best cowboys and cowgirls for a week of rodeo competition at Gillette, Wyo., in July – but competition isn’t limited to the arena. The NHSFR Knowledge Bowl pits teams against each other in a trivia-style contest with rodeo as the central topic. 

The competition kicks off on July 18 at 2:30 p.m. Members of the first-place team will walk away from the Heritage Center Theater, CAM-PLEX Multi-Events Facility, with $1,500 each, and the members of the second-place team will receive $650 each. 

Only one team is allowed per NHSRA state and provincial association and teams must register through their state and provincial secretaries by June 30. 

Winners from last year’s Knowledge Bowl were the Manitoba, Canada, team – Austin Whelpton, Mason Helmeczi and Kade Peake. Second place went to the Alabama team – Riley Bryant, Carli Hodges and Hannah Rogers.
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