Tiany Schuster 'Bumped' From #1 Back Number Spot
Las Vegas, Nevada (October 25, 2017) - The much anticipated back numbers were released for the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas at the beginning of December. Excitement for the official listing of the WNFR back numbers is to find out "who will be number 1?" The back numbers are based upon the amount of money earned towards the finals, with both cowboys and cowgirls competing for that elusive spot.
Only three cowgirls have ever held the elusive number one position. Those three cowgirls are Mary Burger, Sherry Cervi, and Charmayne James. It was assumed that the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo would be the inclusion of a fourth cowgirl to earn the number one back number: Tiany Schuster of Texas.
Fans thought wrong.
The reason this number is so minimal is because the odds are stacked against them as cowgirls are technically only eligible to compete in one event in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (girls barrels), which is co-sanctioned through the Women's Professional Rodeo Association. Cowboys, however, are eligible to compete in any of the seven other events, as well as all around monies won.
In a record setting season, Tiany was as much as $100,000 ahead of her second place competitor in her event. Hot on the pursuit, it was her goal for that number one back number and to be only the fourth cowgirl to hold the position.
So on October 25th, when the listing was created, the social world was inspired by the move of the PRCA to reserve the number 58 back number for the 58 victims of the mass killing at a Las Vegas country music concert. An honorable move, it may have proved for enough of a distraction from some other peculiar on the back number standings.
- Tuf Cooper (All Around, Calf Roping, Team Roping, Steer Roping)
- Tim O'Connell (Bareback)
- Trevor Brazile (All Around, Calf Roping, Team Roping, Steer Roping)
- Jacobs Crawley (Saddle Bronc)
- Tiany Schuster (Girls Barrels - WPRA Co-Sanctioned)
In a strange mix of events, the PRCA took the monies won at Calgary (Canada), Houston (Texas), and the WPRA Finals money off all the girls' totals. They also took the money won at Xtreme Bulls events (the PRCA's version of the PBR) off the bull riders' totals.
In a post on Facebook, Schuster addressed the problem, stating:
"Ya know perhaps that money shouldn't count. Fine. But don't change the way things have always been awarded and done... Yeah I busted my butt and stayed out there, thinking I was ahead. I was not very happy when I got that, 'Oh by the way...' phone call TWO days before the end of the season. Why wait to the last minute? Why was this such a big secret and why the last second change of venue? No one will answer those questions. It is the 11th year of the 10 year contract. Lots of changes. Just saddens me to know that no matter what, WPRA members have no ground to stand on because we are 'invited guests.' Y'all want to talk about all the woulda shoulda coulda money if it all counted, it would be over $325,000 and there is NO American money for me. ...now we know, don't ever expect something because it will, inevitably, be taken from you. Lots of girls worked hard for rankings. Not just me. To only have it taken from them as well. State flags won't get to be carried, while others moved to the end of the list.... but life goes on... actions speak louder than words and numbers don't lie."
The reason for not counting rodeos like Calgary or Houston is because they don't have team roping at the event, putting those competitors at odds in the final count for the back number race. With that being said, this should have been known information at the start of the season, not with a few days left in the end.
After all of this, Schuster's fire should be burning more than ever and, if she's firing on all cylinders like she did with her arena-record setting performance in Calgary, she will be putting in quite a performance at Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
**REVISED UPDATE**OCTOBER 27, 2017**
Released from the Women's Professional Rodeo Association on October 26, 2017.
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Cover photo taken and owned by the Calgary Sun (Canada).