The International Finals Youth Rodeo commenced its 25th anniversary Sunday at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee.
The IFYR is the richest youth rodeo in the world, with more than $250,000 in prize money, championship saddles and buckles for contestants to pursue.
More than 885 contestants from 35 states plus Australia are competing through July 14 in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday, July 14t in the championship round short go for fame and prizes.
Fans can enjoy daily performances July 10-14 at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The western tradeshow is open July 10-14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
"I couldn't have imagined a better way to launch our 25th year of the IFYR," said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. "A combination of excited athletes, supportive parents and a sky diver flying into our arena adorned with the American flag, there is no better way to celebrate our rodeo."
The 2017 IFYR will feature two special events during rodeo week. Spur for the Cure Pink Night will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center is donating 5 percent of the proceeds from Tuesday night's ticket sales to the Shawnee Relay for Life organization, sanctioned by the American Cancer Society. IFYR enthusiasts are also invited to attend Hall of Fame Night on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. The special event will feature the induction of former IFYR champion Jenna Lee Hayes into the IFYR Hall of Fame.
Tickets are available prior to each performance throughout the week. Adult all session passes are $110 and child all session passes are $55. Individual session tickets can be purchased for $12, children's individual session tickets for $6 and senior individual session tickets for $10.
For more information on the IFYR, please call (405) 275-7020 or visit IFYR.com.