Sights turn to Denver as 2023 ProRodeo season heats up

The 2023 ProRodeo season is in full swing. 2022 is in the rear-view mirror and the focus of cowboys across the country turns to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver.

The NWSSR provides contestants with the opportunity to get their new year pointed in the right direction. Last year, the tournament style rodeo paid out $431,000, making Denver one of the top 20 paying events in ProRodeo.

The rodeo kicks off at the Denver Coliseum on Jan. 12, with the finals set to take place on Jan. 22nd at 2 p.m. MT. The event will have 22 performances in total between matinee and evening rodeos.

A year ago, it was Josh Frost taking home the bull riding title, he earned $10,193 in the Mile High City. He secured the title in the finals with a 92-point ride on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Predator. He said it’s a rodeo and an opportunity he looks forward to every year on the calendar.

“It’s really the first big rodeo of the year and a great one to start it off with,” said Frost, 27. “A lot of us coming off the NFR haven’t really been to anything since the Finals. So, it’s always great to start off the year at Denver with a rodeo that pays really good. It’s one I’m excited for every year.”

Tournament formats have become commonplace in winter rodeos, and it’ll be no different in Denver. During the 22 performances there will be two rounds, three semifinals, and a sudden death final. Frost said it’s a unique format that gives even more guys the chance to compete for the buckle.

“They have the format set up with a tournament style, which makes it easier for a guy to advance through the different rounds,” he said. “Back in the past it was just a two header, so you had to draw right and hit the right pen to move on. They bring 36 guys back for the semifinals. So, there’s a ton of opportunities to stay in it and give yourself a shot in the finals.”

All performances of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo will be televised on The Cowboy Channel and streamed live on the PRCA on The Cowboy Channel Plus App, Jan. 12-22.