Matt Mousseau, 34, of Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada emerged as the biggest winner to date of the Pro Fantasy Rodeo competition for the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo recently concluded in Las Vegas, NV December 1-10. Mousseau, a farrier by trade and PRCA steer wrestling competitor, won a 2016 Ram truck along with the newest PFR prize—his PRCA rodeo entries paid for the entire 2017 rodeo season provided by a partnership between Pro Fantasy Rodeo, the PRCA and the San Antonio, Texas, rodeo committee. In addition, Mousseau who had entered every prize challenge offered by Pro Fantasy Rodeo, won each prize which included packages from BEX sunglasses, Cactus Saddle, Coors (4 tickets for every night of 2017 WNFR), Mirage Resort summer vacation, Pendleton Whisky camping gear, Purina (equivalent to 1 ton feed, 40 bags) Rodeo Vegas apparel, Wrangler George Strait autographed guitar and 10 pair of Wrangler jeans. Totaled Mousseau’s prizes were over $98,500.00
Mousseau’s win marks the third time the PFR winner called Canada home. In 2005 Riley Harvey, a native of Priddis, Alberta, Canada attending college in Lubbock won the truck, then in 2011, two friends, Tom Davies and Brad Veno , Alberta, Canada, partnered to also win the truck. Along with hundreds of other players throughout the United States and Canada, Mousseau took up the challenge to pick the top money winners during the 10-day “super bowl of rodeo” where the top 15 PRCA contestants compete in 10 go-arounds at the Thomas and Mack Arena each December. By employing a winning strategy of using the $550,000 salary cap, Mousseau’s team “Mousseau’s Dream Team” consisted of bareback rider Jake Vold, steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack, team roping header Levi Simpson, team roping heeler Jeremy Buhler, saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett, barrel racer Lisa Lockhart and bull rider Shane Proctor combining to win a total of $1,245,044.87.
When contacted by Pro Fantasy Rodeo, Mousseau was ecstatic with the win and said that it was a game-changer for he and his wife Tamaran, a barrel racer. In 2011 they had decided to hit the rodeo circuit, traveling throughout North America for two years before deciding that family obligations called them home. The new truck and entry fees paid will allow them to take one more year to see if they can hit it big, traveling with one and half-year old son, Hazen. When asked about his winning strategy, a first-time PFR player, Mousseau said he picked mostly contestants he was familiar with having traveled and met many of them throughout the past two years, especially since Vold, Simpson/Behler and Thurston are Canadian residents. He said, “I picked contestants I knew well or who I knew were good in their events. Vold had been placing well in the rodeos, Simpson and Behler, along with Thurston, had won their respective events in the Canadian finals, and Waguespack had won the steer wrestling. Lisa Lockhart and Shane Proctor had won the Canadian Finals average, so that was how I came up with my team. I didn’t even use the entire $550,000 salary cap, but as I went back over my picks, I decided they were the best and I wasn’t going to spend the extra money just to be spending it. They proved themselves to be the best!”
Continued Mousseau, “Playing Pro Fantasy Rodeo makes the finals so much more exciting to watch because you have a stake in what’s happening. I knew I was in the top 2% by the last two rounds, then during that final round, I saw on the website that I had moved into No. 1. That 10th round was almost as exciting as if I’d been competing myself! I told my wife that I could hardly believe what the screen said and that there must have been a mistake! I will definitely play Pro Fantasy Rodeo again and get more of my friends involved.”
This year Pro Fantasy Rodeo, the PRCA and the San Antonio Rodeo teamed up to offer the “Rodeo-for-Free” package that Mousseau won. PFR players who participated in this Prize Challenge, could either be a PRCA Member or choose a PRCA member who would win up to $10,000 in entry fees paid at PRCA rodeos as well as receiving a $5,000 fuel card. PRCA Members, like Mousseau, could enter the Prize Challenge and select themselves. Likewise, other PFR players who won the package could award the package to the PRCA Member of their choice. Contestants who had qualified and entered in current WNFR were not eligible to play or enter the Prize Challenge due to legal restrictions. However, anyone could enter the Prize Challenge and still choose a current WNFR contestant to receive the award if they won the Prize Challenge. The beneficiary of the Prize Challenge must be a PRCA Member. Pro Fantasy Rodeo will also buy the recipient of the package his 2017 PRCA card if he doesn’t have one yet, but the package recipient must meet all PRCA Member eligibility requirements. If the selected recipient of the package does not use all of the $10,000 in entry fees for PRCA Rodeos during the 2017 PRCA season, the remainder is forfeited. PFR staff hope that the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association can be onboard next year.
Pro Fantasy Rodeo paid out over $175,000 in cash and prizes for the 2016 WNFR and paid 10 places in the go-rounds (daily) and 100 places in the average. The PFR average is based on each team’s total winnings, including the team members’ average and go-round winnings. Besides the first place prize of the truck, second in the average paid $10,000, 3rd $7,500 etc., paying money to 50th place with 51-100th place receiving a free entry for the next Pro Fantasy Rodeo game valued at nearly $100. Go-around money awarded each day paid $2,000 for 1st $1,000 for 2nd and so forth to 10th place.
For 2017, entries will open a few weeks before the Wrangler National Finals which begins the first week in December and will close right before the grand entry of the first performance.
For further information and winning team and rodeo results for 2016 and previous years, go to www.profantasyrodeo.com.