Area residents qualify for Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Two Sulphur residents, Casey Martin and Shane Hanchey, have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, according to a news release from the competition.

This year's rodeo is Dec. 6 through Dec. 15 in Las Vegas and will feature 10 nights of contestants from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Women's Professional Rodeo Association.

Up for grabs is over $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.

Hoping to leave Las Vegas with big paychecks and world titles are Martin, a steer wrestler, and Hanchey, a tie-down roper.

Martin enters the competition in seventh place with $71,055, while Hanchey is in eighth with $79,215 in regular season earnings in their specific events.

Martin and Hanchey are two of four contestants representing Louisiana. Saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss, of Heflin, and steer wrestler Gabe LeDoux, of Kaplan, will also compete.

According to a news release from the competition's organizers, to compete at the WNFR, contestants had to be among the top 15 in the world standings. They traveled across the U.S., 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.

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.

World championships are determined by adding a contestant's WNFR and regular season earnings together. Those champions have the esteemed honor of wearing the traditional gold buckle that signifies they are the world's best in the sport of rodeo.

Hanchey is this week's KPLC Sports Person of the Week. Tune in at 6 p.m. Wednesday to see that story.

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