Pro Fantasy Rodeo, rodeo’s version of fantasy football, teamed up with the National High School Rodeo Association on an exciting fundraiser. Members of the association had the opportunity to recruit teams for Pro Fantasy Rodeo’s contest. The NHSRA received a portion of each entry and the High School member who recruited the most teams won a trip to the NFR. At the end of the three week contest, Tyler Carlson of Hermiston, OR, learned that his recruiting efforts had earned him the Grand Prize trip to Las Vegas. Tyler wrote the following about his experiences at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this past December:
Well, first off I would like to say that I was very excited when I found out that I was going to get to go to the NFR!!
The plane ride was fun, although it was my first time in the air, and I felt it was worth it. When we showed up at the Maccaren Airport and got off the plane, we went to baggage claim and there was a limo driver standing there with a sign and it had our names on it. I was thrilled that we were going to get to ride in a limo, in Vegas, to Treasure Island. Already this was turning out better than I had hoped it would.
Well, the driver was very nice and packed our bags out to the limo and then took us to Treasure Island to check into our hotel room, which was a really great room. We didn’t stay in the room that much, but we were happy to know that we had a place to go if we needed anything. Our room was just two doors down from KC Jones. He helped Pro Fantasy Rodeo put the whole thing together and I would like to thank him and everyone else who put this great trip together. After we were settled into our room, it was time to explore. My brother decided that the first place we should go since it was almost eight o’clock, was to walk around the casino until we found some food. We did, and it was very good.
The next morning we were ready to go and travel Vegas. The first place that we went to was the Country Christmas, which was just across the street from Treasure Island. They were having the Country Christmas at the Sands Convention Center. It is a great thing because it’s just across the strip. Anyway, we walked around there for about an hour and there’s so much to see in there, it’s huge!! Then KC called me and asked if we got there OK and we did. He asked if we wanted to go to the Cowboy Christmas. I said that we were already there. He asked me how we got there. Well, if you didn’t already know this, there are two big Expo centers in Las Vegas for the WNFR, and we were at the other one. The Cowboy Christmas is at the Convention Center. I didn’t know exactly where that was, but I knew it wasn’t close. So he picked us up and drove us there because he had to sign autographs. My brother and I shopped around that one for a while, found a lot of neat things and looked at all the horse trailers and junior semi’s. Those are sweet! After that we drove back to Treasure Island and we thought we would try and hook up with our relatives that had drove in early that morning. We went back to the Country Christmas and shopped with them. After having already been through that one once, we pretty well knew our way around. After we shopped forever we had to rest, so we walked back to our room and took a energy nap. That’s where the room came in handy! We got hungry then and so we went to search for food.
The next day it was rodeo day, the day that we got to go and watch the ninth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. As I told you before, KC’s room was just two doors down and he had a gift for me! So I went to his room and he invited me in. He gave me a Rodeo Vegas leather jacket. It is the best jacket that has ever slipped over my arms. It is snazzy!! I felt like the king of the world! Well, then he gave me two rodeo tickets and I have to say they weren’t just good seats either, they were seven rows above the bucking chutes!!! That’s like getting front row box seats at the NBA finals, then getting to meet every one of the players. The rodeo was great, they broke the world record in the team roping and that was cool because the team roping is my favorite event. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but we got to ride to the rodeo with NFR qualifier Trevor Knowles. It was pretty fun.
After the rodeo, I went out to the Dodge booth because of course I had to see the new trucks. It turns out that they were putting on a roping contest and since I was in Las Vegas and lacking in my roping practice I joined in and borrowed a rope. It turns out I won! My reward was a new Junior NV rope. That was cool because I really didn’t want to buy a play rope because I was spending all of my money on my parents who so graciously bought two more nights in Vegas. After that, we decided to go on all the roller coaster rides they had in Las Vegas. We went on the Stratosphere first and those are some of the best rides around!! We then went to New York New York to ride the Manhattan Express and it was worth every penny!! We didn’t have enough time to go on all rides in Vegas since by the time we got done at New York New York, it was just a little past one o’clock in the morning. Like I said before, we weren’t going to be spending a lot of time in the hotel room, we were having a blast! Then it was time to go back to the cold weather of Hermiston, Oregon. After being dropped off at the Maccaren Airport, we had a safe flight home in only an hour and fifty minutes.
Again, I would like to thank everyone at Pro Fantasy Rodeo and Treasure Island who was involved with putting on this trip of a lifetime. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I especially thank KC Jones who did a wonderful job of catering my brother and I around Las Vegas.