NRA and NWRA ready to ride into 2020 season

May 15, 2020

Saddle up.


The Northern Rodeo Association and Northern Women’s Rodeo Association are preparing to gallop into the 2020 season.


Working closely with state and county health officials, along with rodeo committees and the contestants, the NRA/NRWA will sanction 21 rodeos during the summer, culminating with the annual NRA/NWRA Finals, Oct. 22-24 in Kalispell.


The organization is following all protocols set by the office of Governor Steve Bullock.


“Safety,” said NRA president Joe Warner of the primary concern. “As much for the contestants as for the fans.”


NRA and NWRA officials have been in continual contact with rodeo committees around the state in preparation for the upcoming season.


Conrad, which usually marks the beginning of the NRA/NWRA season, has postponed its event until 2021, along with Culbertson, East Helena and Polson. All four committees are already working on coming back bigger and better in 2021.


Joining the NRA/NWRA schedule for 2020 are Opheim (June 28) and Malta (July 11).


“The impact is three-fold,” said Warner NRA/NWRA events that held all across the state of Montana. “The rodeos are the focal point of get-togethers like class reunions. They are important to the community with sales, restaurants and hotels. And it’s the committees time to shine.”


The NRA/NWRA rodeos also feature barrel racing and breakaway roping for junior competitors.


The top 10 in each event at the end of the regular season qualify for the NRA/NWRA Finals.


The long, rich history of the NRA and NRWA includes seven-time PRCA world champion Dan Mortensen of Billings, three-time team roping world champion Clay Tryan of Billings and Volborg’s Jess Lockwood, the two-time Professional Bull Riders world champion.


“These rodeos are beyond important,” Warner said. “It’s our way of life.”

By JOE KUSEK