The world’s top-ranked bull rider and more than a dozen of the top 50 athletes in the Professional Bull Riders world circuit will highlight the 101st annual Clovis Rodeo’s opening night festivities on Thursday.
Brazilian Joao Ricardo Vieira will be the one to watch in the saddle. The No. 1-ranked Vieira is in his third year in the PBR, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and earning a career total of nearly $1.1 million.
Joining him are 17 of the PBR’s top-50 ranked riders, including fellow Brazilian and No. 6-ranked Kaique Pacheco.
Shane Proctor, the 2011 PRCA world champion and current No. 14-ranked rider in the world, headlines the list of stateside competitors. Other top-ranked riders include No. 17 Mike Lee, No. 18 L.J. Jenkins, No. 27 Dave Mason and No. 30 Robson Aragao.
The PBR Bull Riding Touring Pro Division will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Clovis Rodeo grounds.
Three days of PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) action will follow.
Competition, however, officially begins today with preliminary rounds of slack competition. Slack events allow competitors, who may not otherwise see time in the afternoon slots, multiple rounds of rodeo. They are still scored the same and count towards the finals point totals. Slack events are free and open to the public. The first rounds start at 8 a.m. and will end around noon. Slack competition will roll into Thursday, again from 8 a.m. to noon. The girls barrel slack races will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Friday.
After Saturday’s parade through Old Town Clovis, the rodeo continues at 2 p.m. The rodeo finals will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.
A gold card team roping event is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday, followed by a special kids rodeo with Break The Barriers at 11:45 a.m.
The rodeo will include back-to-back concerts for fans attending the Thursday and Friday night performances. Country rock band Parmalee will play Thursday with rising star Frankie Ballard entertaining on Friday night, both immediately after the rodeo competitions.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office located at 748 Rodeo Drive, south of Fifth Street, just off of Clovis Avenue. Tickets cost $25 for reserved seating on Thursday, $30 on Friday and $20 on both Saturday and Sunday.
A rodeo after-party and annual Clovis Rodeo Dance (21 and over) will follow Saturday’s events. Tickets to the dance are an additional $10.