World Gay Rodeo Finals come to Albuquerque, NM Oct. 20-22Entertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Thursday, October 12th, 2017
The best of Gay Rodeo comes together the weekend of Oct. 20-22, 2017 for the 31st World Gay Rodeo Finals – this year at the acclaimed Expo New Mexico Indoor Horse Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The rodeo, pre-eminent among the ten gay rodeos sanctioned this year by the International Gay Rodeo Association (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) will feature over one hundred men and women contestants competing against their peers in eleven traditional rodeo events plus three light-hearted, yet fiercely competitive “camp events” the likes of which are only to be seen at the gay rodeo.
The International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), founded 1985, is the sanctioning body for gay rodeos throughout the United States and Canada. IGRA is the largest group coordinating rodeo events specifically welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, as well as heterosexual contestants and spectators. IGRA is composed of many regional gay rodeo associations across the United States. It sanctions a season of rodeo events which culminates in the annual World Gay Rodeo Finals®. IGRA rodeos allow all competitors, regardless of sexual or gender identity, to compete in rodeo without discrimination. The organization helps spread appreciation for Western culture and the sport of rodeo, while serving as a fundraising vehicle benefiting many charitable organizations.
Competitors compete for prize money and the coveted title of All Around Cowboy and All Around Cowgirl at each rodeo. The winners of each event receive trophy buckles designed by the host rodeo association. At season’s end, the contestants with the highest points in each event receive invitations to the World Gay Rodeo Finals presented by IGRA.
The original intent of these rodeos was fundraising. While highly competitive and structured rodeos, they still serve the primary purpose of being fundraisers. The money raised at the rodeo is donated to the designated charities of each association. Together, IGRA and its member rodeo associations raise funds annually to further the causes of charities selected as benefactors of the individual rodeo organization.
At the World Gay Rodeo Finals® in Albuquerque this October, expect to see the best men and women in keen competition in rodeo events such as Bull Riding, Bareback Bronc riding, Ranch Saddle Riding, Steer Riding and Chute Dogging. Speed events will include Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, and Flag Racing. Last; but never least, are the camp events: Steer Decorating, the Wild Drag Race, and Goat Dressing. These events, unique to gay rodeo, always are a scream and real crowd pleasers.
The Finals also will include the 2018 IGRA Royalty Competition. Reigning title holders from nearly every rodeo association in IGRA will vie against one another in five competitive events (Personal Interview, Horsemanship, Western Wear, Public Presentation, and Entertainment), with an eye towards being crowned Mr. IGRA 2018, Miss IGRA 2018, or Ms. IGRA 2018. Current California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association title holders, are sure to feature prominently in this dazzling drag extravaganza.
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