By Dakota Kuhns
The Observer 

Rodeo Royalty Represents Kimball At Cheyenne Frontier Days

New Tournament Style Rodeo Drawing Attention


July 25, 2019

For The Observer

Kimball PRCA Rodeo Queen McKynna Deeds, right, and Princess Julia Winstrom, left, pose for a photo while at the Queen Luncheon to kick off the 123rd Annual Cheyenne Frontier Days last Friday, July 19.

It's an event that draws a large audience from a handful of miles away, including some from all across the country and even around the world.

The Daddy of 'em All, Cheyenne Frontier Days, the worlds largest outdoor rodeo, with the outstanding concert lineup it Frontier Nights is a stage many visit.

Along with the well known performers in the evening come the cowboys and cowgirls that make the event what it is best known for, the rodeo performances.

As many might know there has been some slight controversy with the contestant line up and the new tournament style rodeo this year. The change came last year during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) when the change in format was presented to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, PRCA's Board of Directors.

According to a press release from Cheyenne Frontier Days CEO Tom Hirsig, he respects the fact that some of the rodeo cowboys have decided to "boycott" this year's rodeo because of the new format but he hopes they can respect CFD's business decision.

Hirsig continued to say this format is not new to rodeo. Calgary Stampede, Rodeo Houston, The American, Rodeo Austin and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo all have tournament formats. For fans who are new to rodeo, a tournament format offers a better attendee experience. For less experienced fans, slack is complicated, and it is hard to explain what the average means-or why if someone wins on Monday, they are not in the Sunday finals. Our consumer research shows that 85 percent of our ticket buyers are first-time rodeo attendees or only attend one rodeo per year.

Our hope is that the accessibility and ease of comprehension of this format style will drive ticket sales in the future.

With still a full list of rodeo contestants and good ones at that, Hirsig said there are still go-rounds in some of the timed events, but now those go-rounds, done in slack, or outside of the afternoon rodeos will be qualifiers for athletes to make the eight regular performances.

Hirsig said, the participants will compete for more money. In the recent past, the prize purse at CFD, which included cash and other prizes, was approximately $1 million. Now, the cash purse alone is $1 million, and the total prize purse is about $1.3 million.

There will be 12 participants in each of the first six rodeo performances. The top four each day advance to the semifinals, which will be Friday and Saturday.

The top four in each of those six performances also earn money. From the 24 in the semifinals, the top scores and times advance to Sunday's finals.

Along with the newly on board CFD Rodeo the tournament style rodeo performances are not new to the circuit rodeos who have also adopted this style include: The Calgary Stampede, Rodeo Houston, The American, Rodeo Austin and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo all have tournament formats.

Also new to Frontier Days this year is the Women's Breakaway Roping event which Hirsig said, there are 200 participants, which will be one of the biggest girls breakaway roping events ever.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook about this," Hirsig said. "People want to see more kids and women in sports. Barrel racing has been a fantastic event for us and the sport, and there are some really talented female ropers out there."

Today, Thursday is the sixth rodeo performance with only two remaining before the finals on Sunday afternoon. Many familiar names are doing what they do best in Cheyenne and some will be headed east for the Kimball Banner County Fair in just a few short weeks, one of those top names is Trevor Brazile, who holds the record for the most PRCA world champion titles with 24 and holds the record for most All-Around Championship titles at 14.

All the excitement just west of us this time of the summer two local young ladies have already made the trip to Frontier Park this week, Kimball PRCA Rodeo Queen McKynna Deeds, daughter of Keri and Juan Mendoza and Craig and Ashley Deeds and Princess Julia Winstrom daughter of Mike and Sherry Winstrom.

The ladies kicked off Frontier Days in fashion for the Queen Luncheon last Friday July 19, "It is amazing to see all the rodeo queens from all over. I have meet so many talented, friendly, and beautiful rodeo queens the past two years. That alone was an opportunity of a life time," said Deeds.

As for the remainder of CFD this year Deeds and Winstrom will head west again Saturday July 27 for the early morning parade as well as the rodeo performance that afternoon.

Deeds continued to express her love for the sport of rodeo as well as what CFD has to offer, "I really think the parade is amazing! The people watching the parade are friendly, waving, clapping, smiling and greeting us with such joy and energy."

As last years Kimball PRCA Rodeo Princess Deeds has had unforgettable lifetime experiences. "For myself, I have grown more confident. Being part of the PRCA rodeo royalty the last 2 years has taught me how to interact with all different ages of people. Hold my head up and represent our community and the PRCA rodeo association the best I can."

As the summer continues Deeds and Winstrom are getting ready to tackle the busy week of the Kimball Banner County Fair August 5-12.

"The entire week! My week starts off with handing ribbons to all the contestants, learning about all of the fashion, photography, small and large animals and much more. Watching all the kids hard work from the year. Truly amazing!

Of course, one of my favorite is the equine division of the fair on Wednesday. I can't forget the gymkhana that's the night we let our hair down and have fun!  Watching the little cowboys to the let's say.. "really experienced cowboys" run barrels, ribbon race and musical tires. Lots of fun!! There is so much to do all week, I keep very busy!"

Winding down the week with the PRCA rodeo and the miniature bulls and horse is the highlight of the week! I am honored to carry the Flag, gives me goose bumps and such a proud feeling!"

I cannot express how the PRCA rodeo royalty has helped me mature and become more confident. It has taught me how to present myself as a lady, how to overcome the mental game when my horse isn't acting like a queen's horse should act. Such an amazing experience! Thank you all for the support!

Deeds has brought pride, confidence, charisma to Kimball County and the Kimball PRCA Rodeo, we thank her for all of her hard work and dedication.


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