SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYO – It wasn’t Cheyenne Frontier Days “Daddy of ‘em All” but this year’s National High School Finals Rodeo had every bit the rodeo action and broke a few attendance records in 2019.
This year’s event, which is wrapping up tomorrow, proved to be the highest number of contestants the Sweetwater Events Complex has checked in since hosting the event—a whopping 1,590 participants. Contestants traveled from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia to compete, including 1,472 from the United States, 11 from Australia, 109 from Canada, and 15 from Mexico.
This year, the event is expected to pay out more than $2 million in scholarships, and over $300,000 in cash. The event also means big money for the host city’s local economy.
Larry Lloyd, executive director of Sweetwater Events Complex, was one of many thrilled with the turnout.
“The National High School Finals Rodeo is a huge success for the City of Rock Springs, City of Green River, Sweetwater County and the state of Wyoming,” Lloyd said. “It is estimated to bring $8,487,383 into our economy. These families are staying in our hotels, eating at our local restaurants, fueling up at our gas stations, renting tubes to float the Green River and buying fishing poles to fish Lake Flaming Gorge and the Green River,” explained Larry
This year also broke another record with rodeo event entries. Contestants entries were at an all-time high of 1,787. Participants entered a range of events from barrel racing and poles to bareback and bull riding and often more than one event. Along with the traditional rodeo events, there are 42 Queens and 181 Shooting Sports Contestants.
It isn’t possible to put on such a large event without the help of locals. This year, almost 500 local volunteers filled 875 volunteer positions. These positions range from checking-in contestants and their horses to parking RV’s and taking tickets. Volunteers parked 1,300 RV’s and stalled and housed 1,940 horses on the grounds-the largest number of horses ever stalled at the SEC.
In fact, the Sweetwater Events Complex turns into a virtual small town as families run around on 780 golf carts while running to the tradeshow, rodeo, and back to their RV’s.
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