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Ennis resident qualifies for Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

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LAS VEGAS - For the the past 27 years, Las Vegas has gone country for 10 days in December as the city hosts the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo where world championships are decided. 

Barrel racer Mary Walker from Ennis will be making her first appearance at the rodeo riding her great horse Latte. Walker enters the competition in third place with $127,296 in regular season earnings and is in contention for a world championship. She is one of 38 contestants representing Texas that have qualified. 

This year’s rodeo is Dec. 6- 15 and will feature 10 nights of the best contestants from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. Up for grabs is more than $6 million in prize money and world championships in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s barrel racing and bull riding. To compete at the WNFR contestants had to be among the top 15 in the world standings. 

They traveled across the United States paying their own entry fees and expenses hoping to earn enough money to be among the elite athletes that advance to rodeo’s championship event. The WNFR has seen continued growth in prize money and fan support since it moved to Las Vegas. 

Each contestant will compete in 10 individual rounds which will pay the winner $18,257. On Dec. 15 their total scores and times will be added together for average placings. 

First place in that category will win $46,820 and a saddle as the WNFR champion.

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