WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and the Lazy E Arena have announced a breakthrough collaboration on the World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR). The two properties will join forces to host the World Championship event in Guthrie, Oklahoma the week of July 24, 2023. 

The 2023 WCRA Division Youth (DY) event will award a guaranteed payout of $200,000 and is open to any youth athlete ages 19 and under (as of the first day of competition) in the world competing in 11 disciplines which include – Bareback Riding, Women’s Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (Heading and Heeling), Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, and Bull Riding. 

In February 2022, WCRA announced that roughstock disciplines (Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding) in the Junior class were open for nominations along with Ladies Goat Tying and Ladies Pole Bending in all classifications.

“This partnership marks the beginning of a colossal step to growing the sport of rodeo among youth athletes nationwide and allowing them to qualify for a true world championship event,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “Being a 4x World Champion Bareback Rider, having the opportunity to grow opportunities for youth roughstock athletes is special and I couldn’t be prouder to help foster and cultivate the upcoming stars of rodeo.” 

World Champions will be crowned in all disciplines from both the Junior Leaderboard (ages 19 and under) and the Youth Leaderboard (age 13-15). 

Junior World Champions will earn $2,000 each while Youth athletes will be battling it out for the $1,000 World Champion Cash Bonus. The All-Around World Championship cash bonus (Junior= $4,000 Youth= $2,000) and Discipline World Champion Cash Bonus will be awarded based on total points earned from the combined classifications leaderboards. 

According to Mote, historically all DY nominations were $25 and the same points were offered whether you won your local jackpot or the legendary IFYR (International Finals Youth Rodeo).  Now, youth athletes will have a chance to nominate those local jackpots at a lower price point of $15.00 and receive a lower point scale at DY5.  

“What is unique about this partnership is that we have taken the best of two innovative rodeo properties that are designed to provide new opportunities for rodeo athletes and created an even better junior rodeo platform for youth of all ages,” said Dan Wall, Lazy E Arena General Manager. “There are multiple ways to qualify to the 2023 Semi-Finals Rounds and even more ways to win money at this event.” 

DY Athletes will have three opportunities to earn a position to the 2023 Championship event with no entry fees:

  • Athletes can qualify by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY23 leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes have until June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard in each discipline will qualify for the event with no entry fees. 
  • Generic Qualification from a DY Qualifier Series event.
  • Open Entry (entries will open will be announced at a later date) 

Since launching in May of 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $12,100,000 in new money to rodeo athletes. All rodeo athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA DY, the VRQ, or event format and payout details should be directed to dy.rodeo or download the WCRA DY app HERE.  


Media Contact: Kyle Jones, [email protected]

About WCRA DY (World Champions Rodeo Alliance Division Youth):

WCRA DY is a culmination of a leaderboard race of rodeo events worldwide. Athletes can qualify for the July 2023 $200,000 World Championship Event at the Lazy E Arena by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes can nominate their rodeo efforts starting on May 2, 2022 and have until Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard will qualify for the event with no entry fees.

About Lazy E Arena: 

The Fabulous Lazy E Arena – just southeast of Guthrie and northeast of Edmond/Oklahoma City – was established in December 1984, just in time for the ’84 National Finals Steer Roping Finals. Originator of the E, E.K. Gaylord II had a vision that both the National Finals Steer Roping Finals and the National Finals Rodeo would happen the same time, in the same area, creating the most epic days rodeo had seen. While the plan only worked for one year, as the NFR moved to Vegas in ’85, the legacy and standards E.K. set from the beginning still carry on today. From giving PBR its start to the Timed Event Championship of the World, the Lazy E has hosted world champions, world championships and personalities galore. In 2005, Gaylord sold the property to a partnership from Nevada, and in October 2013 the property was sold to the McKinney Family from Midland, Texas. The ownership group has long recognized not only the tremendous facility, but also the importance of the Lazy E’s place in Rodeo and Oklahoma history. The Family has committed to maintaining the Lazy E as the World’s premier western entertainment facility. Many updates and renovations are taking place at the Arena which will only enhance the lure of the Lazy E to the general population

WCJR Insight

Our goal is to create a contestant-friendly youth event that’s an additional opportunity for kids who rodeo. To be clear, we are not a sanctioning body or association, and this is a stand-alone event intended to complement the events of longstanding, successful youth rodeo organizations. We’re here to help grow this industry, and we’re glad you’re here to help us do just that. 

As for the innovative format we’ve chosen for the Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo—which includes two long rounds, a buyback round for those who want to take another swing at it, a semifinals and finals—we wanted to try something new. The way we see it, any kid can have a tough day. With our format giving every contestant multiple ways to win money and advance to the finals, those who break a barrier or get bucked off in one round won’t necessarily be out of it and can still have a lot of rodeo left to look forward to. There are various opinions and viewpoints on this subject, and we feel good about trying new things for the right reasons as we try to help grow the sport from the grassroots level.

The WCJR is the only qualifier event for the Jr Ironman presented by WCRA—which will again be held in conjunction with the Cinch Timed Event Championship here at the Lazy E next March— outside of the contestants who qualify by way of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. We wish you all-around cowboys entered in all four timed events the best of luck in your pursuit of earning an invitation to participate in the prestigious Jr Ironman. 

We think big here at the Lazy E, and we hope to one day become the richest junior rodeo in the country. In the meantime, we promise to keep working hard to continue to do our part to raise the rodeo bar.

Lazy E’s World Championship Junior Rodeo Set to Be a 2021 Summer Spectacular

The Lazy E Arena saved the day for rodeo during last year’s countless COVID cancellations. The cowboy hub in centrally located Guthrie, Oklahoma, hosted such popular permanent fixtures as the Cinch Timed Event Championship and National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals, and also made events like the National High School Finals Rodeo and Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic possible in 2020. This summer, the Fabulous Lazy E is adding the July 27-31 World Championship Junior Rodeo presented by Montana Silversmiths to its all-star lineup, and with $115,000 in added money, an estimated total payout in excess of $450,000 and the goal of being the richest youth rodeo in all the land, the inaugural WCJR is sure to set a high bar for the rodeo record books. 

The WCJR will include bareback riding, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, goat tying, saddle bronc riding, pole bending, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Entries are open now, and all entry and stalling information can be found at wcjrodeo.com.

Buzz about the World Championship Junior Rodeo abounds amongst the 19-and-under cowboy and cowgirl crowd. Josie Conner, Briar Teague and Riley Webb are just three contestants who look forward to returning to the Lazy E to compete for rodeo riches this summer. 

“I love the Lazy E, and with great money at an amazing facility, I’m super excited about it,” said 17-year-old high school junior Conner from Iowa, Louisiana. “The people at the Lazy E are always super friendly and welcoming to us, and there are awesome little towns like Guthrie and Edmond nearby. The Lazy E is famous for hosting great events, so when they say they’re hoping to have the richest youth rodeo there is, I’ll be there.”

So many of Conner’s career highlights have come from the Lazy E, including the win at last fall’s Oklahoma’s Richest Open Breakaway Roping, which she followed up with the breakaway roping W a week later at the San Angelo (Texas) Roping Fiesta. Josie also was the reserve National High School Finals Rodeo breakaway roping champ, and second only to fellow Cajun cowgirl Josey Murphy.

“For the Lazy E to add $10,000 to every event is a big deal,” Josie said. “My dad (Jade, who’s renowned for helping all breakaway ropers behind the chutes and in the box) always tells me that I came up as a breakaway roper at a perfect time. There are so many more opportunities out there right now, and this one (the WCJR) is a no brainer.”

Teague of Rattan, Oklahoma, took the Jr Ironman title at the Lazy E in March after competing in three rounds each of heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. As the World Championship Junior Rodeo is the only qualifier for the 2022 Jr Ironman—which will again be held in conjunction with the Cinch Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E next March—Teague plans to enter all four of those events at the WCJR. 

Every contestant can enter each WCJR event one time, and team ropers can enter once as a header and another time as a heeler. There will be a side pot for contestants who enter all four of those Jr Ironman featured events, and the top five money winners in three or more events at the WCJR will qualify to compete at the 2022 Jr Ironman. 

Reigning National High School Rodeo Association tie-down roping titlist and recent Rodeo Corpus Christi winner Riley Webb also plans to compete at the World Championship Junior Rodeo this summer. WCRA Photo by Bull Stock Media

“Every big youth rodeo and roping has been held at the Lazy E lately, and we all love that place,” said Teague, who’s 19 now, which meets the 19-and-under age requirement, which is as of opening day of the WCJR on July 27; also, anyone who’s eligible for the 2021 WCJR is eligible for the 2022 Jr Ironman. “The Jr Ironman was amazing. The chance to showcase my talent in so many events, and to try and be efficient at all of them was so cool. I’d go back to the Jr Ironman forever, if I could. The WCJR being a qualifier for it is reason enough to enter. The added money at the WCJR puts this event over the top.”

Teague will turn 20 in September, and is a sophomore at Western Oklahoma Junior College in Altus. So he’s been rodeoing for Coach Jess Tierney, who’s a past Timed Event Champion. 

“If the Lazy E has the goal of being the richest junior rodeo out there, I believe they’ll accomplish it,” Teague said. “They think big at the Lazy E, and the World Championship Junior Rodeo will prove it again.”

The WCJR format will include two long rounds, with the top three contestants from each round and the top eight in the two-head average advancing to the Semi Finals. The top two in each event from the buyback round also will advance to the Semifinals, for a total of 16 contestants per event in the Semis. The Semi Finals will start with a clean slate, with the top eight moving on to the Finals. The WCJR World Champions will be determined sudden-death style by the fastest times and highest scores in the Finals.

Briar Teague—shown here heading one for best buddy Jessen James at the 2021 Jr Ironman—will return to the Lazy E for the World Championship Junior Rodeo in July. Lazy E Photo by James Phifer

Webb won the 2020 NHSRA tie-down roping title at the Lazy E last July. He also headlined the World Champions Rodeo Alliance’s Stampede at the E last August, then followed that up by winning this year’s Rodeo Corpus Christi in May. Webb is now one win away from taking the WCRA’s Triple Crown of Rodeo, which is a $1 million bonus that goes to any athlete who wins three straight WCRA majors. The 2021 NHSFR in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the WCRA’s Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo in Salt Lake City both will be held the week before the WCJR.

“I love the atmosphere and the hospitality at the Lazy E,” said Webb, who’s a 17-year-old high school junior from Denton, Texas. “I love that place, and I’ll be there at the WCJR because of the $10,000 in added money in each event. That’s unusual. It’s great to be roping for all this money at this age. It’s an exciting time in our sport, and the World Championship Junior Rodeo is just another example of that.”