Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association CEO George Taylor learned quite a bit about construction during his 19-year tenure with Caterpillar Inc. — the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer.
Time now to build on the PRCA and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Taylor, who was tabbed in January as the PRCA’s new CEO, is relishing his first NFR and addressed members of the media during a 30-minute news conference Tuesday afternoon at Thomas & Mack Center.
“I didn’t grow up in rodeo …This is literally my first NFR,” said Taylor, who succeeded Karl Stressman. “The feeling of Las Vegas with all these cowboy hats walking around is really indescribable to me. I think it’s evidence of the amazing partnership that rodeo has had with Las Vegas.”
Taylor, who most recently worked as Caterpillar’s chief marketing officer before retiring last year, brings a wealth of business savvy to the PRCA, which has housed its marquee event in Las Vegas since 1985.
He spoke at length Tuesday about a desire to innovate and evolve — while concurrently paying homage to the history of the sport — and professed a need for more cowboys, citing a 30 percent drop in PRCA membership since 2006.
“Some people want it to be like its always been, and other people want it to keep moving forward.” Taylor said. “My challenge as the leader of the PRCA is, ‘How do we keep navigating this path to keep ourself relevant, keep ourselves growing and have relevance in the next generation as the world changes?
“It’s our turn now,” he added. “Somebody else had their turn, and they did good things in the sport and kept going and going and going. But now it’s our turn.”
Other key growth points for Taylor include partnership between junior and senior levels of rodeo, and promotion across new-wave media platforms — a la video and streaming services.
Veteran cowboy Jacobs Crawley serves on the PRCA board of directors as its vice chairman contestant director and helped appoint Taylor into his current role. He’s worked closely with Taylor throughout the last several months, complimented his business acumen and said he’s on board with his progressive vision thus far.
So long as Taylor understands the history of rodeo and dignifies the tradition of the NFR.
That doesn’t seem to be a problem.
“Las Vegas has turned this into a rodeo, plus amazing places to go eat, go enjoy yourself in the casino, go to one of the how many different shows that are going on. And all the little things they do for the wide range of things,” Taylor said. “My mind has been spinning this week, for sure, but I think there’s significant potential for more and more people to experience the sport, and more and more people to experience the sport in Las Vegas.”
Cassidy keeps lead in steer wrestling
Curtis Cassidy won Round 4 of steer wrestling in 3.6 seconds on Sunday. He posted the same time Tuesday and finished with the same result.
Cassidy won his second round in the three days to claim additional $26,230.77 and remain in first place in the PRCA world standings. He has never won a world title.
“This feels awesome,” said Cassidy, 40, of Donalda, Alberta, Canada.”Everyone is trying to win first when they back in there, and to win rounds here you have to have a great steer because there are so many guys who are so good with good horses. It is just the draw that separates us all.”
Cassidy has aggregated $184,124.71 this season, and wants to win by at least $60,000. Will Lummus is second with $156,470.80.
Other go-round winners: Ty Breuer, Mandan, North Dakota, in bareback riding (88.0); Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas, in team roping (3.9); Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, Canada, and Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Nebraska, in saddle bronc riding (89.5); Cooper Martin, Alma, Kansas, in tie-down roping (7.6); Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, in barrel racing (13.63); Dustin Boquete, Bourg, Louisiana, in bull riding (91.00).