The week-long International Finals Youth Rodeo begins Monday in Shawnee at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center.
Called the richest high school rodeo in the world, more than 1,000 young cowboys and cowgirls from across the country are competing in the 18th annual competition.
Over the years, several cowboys competed in the IFYR who went on to earn fame in professional rodeo. Among them are Texas all-around champion roper Trevor Brazile and PBR bull riders J.B. Mauney and Kody Lostroh.
Tupelo’s Cord and Jet McCoy, who gained fame on CBS’ “Amazing Race” this year, also are former IFYR champions.
Performances begin today at 9 a.m. with another at 7:30 p.m. There will be morning and evening performances at the same times each day through Friday.
The championship short round, featuring the top 15 contestants from each event, will be Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
The championship round was scheduled for Saturday morning instead of its traditional afternoon starting time to accommodate high school contestants who are heading to the National High School Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo.
Events will be held simultaneously in three arenas during the week. Fans can see all three arenas from the 7,500-seat misted grandstand.
The competition includes tie-down roping, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, pole bending, bareback and saddle bronc riding, goat tying and bull riding.