It is called Cowboy Christmas not because it is the busiest week of the rodeo season – there are a few weeks that have more events – but because the Fourth of July week offers the most money in the shortest span of time during the regular season.
This time around there will be 31 rodeos that begin and/or end during the week of July 1-7 with total prize money in the (ritzy) neighborhood of $3.3 million.
Cowboys trying to work their way to the year-end Wrangler National Finals Rodeo will crisscross the Western United States trying to compete in as many as nine rodeos and improve their standing.
Trevor Brazile broke the Cowboy Christmas earnings record last year with $39,993 in a single week and over the years six men have surpassed $30,000 during the Fourth of July week.
There figure to be four rodeos that week with more than $250,000 in total purse – Ponoka, Alberta; St. Paul, Ore.; Cody, Wyo., and Greeley, Colo. – and another half dozen with more than $100,000.