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Dec 4 2018

Gone CountryPosted By Mike Young - 12/04/18

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If you`re in Las Vegas this week you may have noticed an influx of pickup trucks, cowboy boots and big, shiny belt buckles. That`s because the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is in town. The WNFR is widely acknowledged to be the world's premier rodeo. Last night the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Competitors Walked the Gold Carpet "Road to the Gold Buckle" at South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa. 

I spoke with veteran cowboy, Ryle Smith. This year has been his career best in tie-down roping, placing 5th for the regular season and qualifying Smith for his third consecutive WNFR. I asked him what it means to him and his family. "Only the best of the best make it to the NFR. My family and I have invested a lot of time, money and blood, sweat and tears to make it here." For Ryle, his wife Danika and their 1 year old daughter Remy rodeo is more than just a career choice, it`s a way of life. I quipped that the life of a rodeo cowboy is often portrayed in country songs as life mired in pain and sorry. I asked what he loves about the lifestyle. "That`s funny, I was thinking about that on our way to Vegas. It`s the community of people associated with rodeo."

What many folks don`t know is that rodeo was born from actual jobs that people do on a working ranch. I can`t think of another sport that can say that. I couldn`t be more proud to be associated with the community of people who continue this great american tradition." - Mike Young