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Change to Cheyenne format causes uproar

Temperatures are rising in Southwest Oklahoma, so that can only mean we are closing in on the annual Lawton Rangers Rodeo next month.

However, while the temperatures are rising around here, they’ve also been rising among timed-event contestants in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) after a huge format change at the famed Cheyenne Frontier Days caused quite a stir last week on the eve of the entry closing period for that popular event.

Basically here is what caused the issue to boil over among the contestants, especially those in tie-down roping and steer wrestling. Cheyenne is moving to a format where contestants would have to possibly run five head in a system similar to those being conducted in San Antonio and Houston.

Contestants would compete in slack to earn spots in the performances and then the finals. Contestants say it means making more trips back and forth to Cheyenne and would cut into them entering other good-paying rodeos during that same time period.

Cheyenne officials says the format is easier for fans to understand and will make for a better rodeo.

The difference Cheyenne has with Houston and San Antonio is that when those two rodeos are going, there are few other large rodeos, so contestants can basically stay in those two cities and not miss other big rodeos.

Cheyenne comes at the peak of the summer season and contestants would have to make hard choices, including flying to some other big rodeos and pre-positioning mounts at those sites. Guys who travel solo are really in a bind in that case.

The Lawton Constitution

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