FORT WORTH — February 1, 2023 — Fort Worth, Texas, will welcome the inaugural Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week, marking the richest women’s-only week of competition in Western sports. The week-long schedule of events from May 14–20 is slated to pay out $1.145 million in prize money, affording more than 800 female competitors the chance to compete for life-changing payouts.
The Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week will feature three marquee events — the 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship, the Circle Y Saddles Cowgirl Gathering Barrel Race presented by NBHA, APHA and WWP, and The Cowgirl Gathering.
“The National Barrel Horse Association is honored to welcome and collaborate with the American Paint Horse Association and Wild West Promotions with the desire to create an ultimate high-payout barrel race,” said NBHA director of barrel racing Bailey Nahrgang. “It made perfect sense, with the Cowgirl Gathering shifting their dates…for NBHA to join forces and combine two well-established events and make one prominent event for the record books.”
The landmark Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week will feature the Circle Y Saddles Cowgirl Gathering Barrel Race, presented by NBHA, WWP and APHA.
The event — a one-day, free-to-attend, open barrel racing jackpot — will offer a 5D payout, with Circle Y Saddles to the winners of each division, and many other awards. All ages and experience levels are welcome to participate in the Cowgirl Gathering Barrel Race.
“The merging of forces with other women’s rodeo organizations is another example of a new age in rodeo to establish a historic week for female competitors,” WRWC commissioner Linsay Sumpter said. “Together, we will elevate the sport as we share the vision for future growth and opportunities for women in rodeo.”
All events will be held at Cowtown Coliseum, with select events at the American Paint Horse Association headquarters, RFD-TV Studios and Mule Alley.
“The Cowgirl Gathering has become a pinnacle event for the women of the Western world in the heart of cowgirl country,” Marked For Greatness Properties CEO Steven Hayes said. “We paid out more than $300,000 to cowgirls across three disciplines in 2022…moving to May with other groups who are actively elevating cowgirls and the Western lifestyle is a significant enhancement for this event and the groups who support it.”
The 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship spans May 17–20 and will introduce the new Last Chance Qualifier, allowing for athletes not qualified on the WRWC Leaderboard the chance to ride their way into the marquee event. The 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship will pay out $750,000, in addition to crowning world champions in team roping, breakaway roping, and barrel racing. An all-around world champion will also be crowned.
The Last Chance Qualifier will launch the 2023 WRWC on May 17 at 8 a.m. inside Cowtown Coliseum, featuring a Pro and Challenger Open Barrel Race, Pro and Challenger Barrel Race Buy-Back Round, Pro and Challenger Breakaway Roping, and Pro and Challenger Team Roping. The one-day tournament is anticipated to award $40,000.
The main event for the fourth edition of the WRWC will be held May 18–20, when the top 20 athletes from the Pro Leaderboard and Challenger Leaderboard per discipline take to the arena alongside those contenders who advanced via the Last Chance Qualifier and those athletes who have won a generic qualification through a Qualifier Series event.
All qualifying and Semifinal rounds will be May 18–19. Following the Semifinal Rounds, the leaderboard will merge with 12 athletes in each discipline to advance to the May 20 Triple Crown of Rodeo performance
Each event champion will collect $60,000, the World Champions in each discipline will be awarded a $5,000 bonus, and the All-Around World Champion will collect a $20,000 bonus. As part of the Triple Crown of Rodeo, those event champions at the WRWC will be eligible to win the $1 million cash bonus awarded to any one athlete or collection of athletes who win first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos.
Other competitions and Western lifestyle activities will be held from May 12–16 throughout the Fort Worth Stockyards, highlighting cowgirls’ skills in breakaway roping, team roping and barrel racing, while also showcasing engaging female speakers, artists and fashion icons.
View the complete Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week schedule here.