The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) is an organization whose members compete in rodeos around the United States. The PRCA sanctions rodeo venues and events through the PRCA Circuit System.
A performer must qualify in his or her regional circuit to move on to the Dodge National Circuit
Finals Rodeo (DNCFR), held every year since 1987 in Pocatello, Idaho. The top two contestants in each of the seven rodeo events from the 12 different PRCA
regional circuits compete in the four-day championship event held in Pocatello. Points are achieved for the top competitors in
each of the circuit rodeo events held throughout the year. The winner in each event at the DNCFR is the national circuit finals
champion for that event. In addition to the eight individual event winners, there is also an overall champion titled the All-Around Cowboy. All eight winners receive the National Circuit
Championship gold belt-buckle. Dodge has been the title sponsor of the NCFR since 1991.
The top 15 money winners in each PRCA discipline (including the top 15 "headers" and "heelers" in team roping) earn a trip to the Wrangler National
Finals Rodeo, commonly called the National Finals or NFR. The NFR is held in Las Vegas, Nevada every December. Rodeo action is held over 10 consecutive days at the National Finals,
with the top money winner for the year crowned the year's champion in each discipline at the end of the NFR. Because of the
large amount of money at stake in the NFR, the leader going into the NFR is often dethroned for the year's championship at
The PRCA was founded as a union for rodeo performers in 1936 as the Cowboys' Turtle Association.
"The cowboys chose that name because, while they were slow to organize, when push finally came to shove,
they weren't afraid to stick their necks out to get what they wanted."
It became the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1945 and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1975. In 1979 the organization established the ProRodeo Hall
of Fame and Museum in Colorado Springs,
Troy Ellerman, a former PRCA cowboy and now a lawyer, became the latest PRCA Commissioner in 2005.
The eight PRCA events:
Steer wrestling (bull dogging)
From 1995 on, the PRCA has awarded separate titles to "headers" (cowboys who rope the steer's
head) and "heelers" (cowboys who rope the steer's hind feet).
Tie-down roping (formerly calf roping)
Barrel racing, the only event exclusive to women