NFR Open: Preview, Format and How to Watch

The stars of the Circuit Finals descend on Pikes Peak, Colorado this week


It is the third year that the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo will be used to determine the National Champions of the PRCA’s Circuit Rodeo system. This year, the rodeo will pay nearly $700,000 and a win comes with a guaranteed spot in the Cinch Playoffs in Puyallup later this year. This can be a massive boost to an athlete’s season.

To compete at the NFR Open, athletes must win the regular season or Average title at their Circuit Finals Rodeos. To qualify, they must compete in one of the 12 PRCA U.S. Regional Circuits.


Every contestant at the rodeo gets two rides or runs with clean-slate Semifinals being determined by the Top 12 scores on a two-head Average (which is also paid out) in every event except in breakaway roping. From there, it is narrowed down to a Four-Man Finals in each event.


The NFR Open will feature the top athletes from across all events. The Open allows those athletes to earn up to $20,000. A year ago, PRCA Bareback Riding World Champion Keenan Hayes proved that he belonged at the top of the PRCA World Standings by taking the NFR Open. He begins his defense of his title on Friday in Performance 4.

The PRCA Saddle Bronc World Standings have tightened over the last few weeks with No. 2 Lefty Holman and No. 3 Sage Newman making up significant ground on Damian Brennan. Holman is just $15,000 back while Newman is $25,000 back. Things could get a lot closer after this week with Brennan not competing in Pikes Peak while Holman will compete on Wednesday and Thursday and Newman is slated to compete on Friday and Saturday.

The new No. 1 Bull Rider in the World, Josh Frost is scheduled to compete on Friday and Saturday night. Frost took over the No. 1 spot from Creek Young and holds a small $2,000 lead. Young will have his opportunity, though, competing alongside Frost over the weekend as he looks to reclaim his No. 1 spot in the PRCA World Standings.

On the timed event end, Shane Hanchey looks to continue his climb in the PRCA Tie-Down Roping World Standings. A month ago, Hanchey was outside the Top 15, but now he sits at No. 5 in the World. Hanchey continued his strong stretch in Calgary where he posted the fastest time of Pool B so far, a 6.7. With Shad Mayfield not competing at the NFR Open, Tie-Down Ropers have a big opportunity to close the gap between them and the No. 1 man.

Steer wrestling is also loaded with top talent as World No. 1 Dalton Massey will be competing as will No. 3 Stetson Jorgensen, No. 4 Tucker Allen, No. 7 Will Lummus, No. 8 Ty Erickson and No. 9 Stephen Culling.


You can watch every performance on The Cowboy Channel and The Cowboy Channel+ App. For a full broadcast schedule click HERE.

Performance 1Tuesday, July 910:00 PM
Performance 2Wednesday, July 10 10:00 PM
Performance 3Thursday, July 1110:00 PM
Performance 4Friday, July 126:30 PM
Performance 5Friday, July 1210:00 PM
Performance 6Saturday, July 136:30 PM
FinalsSaturday, July 1310:00 PM
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