How To Get Ready for PBR World Finals 2022 – What To Know From Ariat
We had a chance to chat with Taylor Nahrgang, the Director of Western & Work Partnerships for Ariat. If you’ll be attending the upcoming 2022 PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, or watching on TV, Taylor has the inside scoop on everything PBR you’ll want to know.
Please share with our readers a little about yourself and your role at Ariat.
My name is Taylor Nahrgang. I am the Director of Western & Work Partnerships for Ariat. I have grown up, lived, and competed in the Western Industry for the entirety of my life. I am responsible for managing, positioning, and partnering the company with the most elite athletes and partners that the two industries offer. I work closely with our product teams to provide authentic athlete insight into product innovation and with the sales team surrounding strategy to be stronger partners for our retail customers.
Tell us about the world of PBR, the tour, and Ariat’s involvement with Professional Bull Riding.
The PBR is an incredible organization that has been an innovative industry leader for Western Sports. Their ingenuity and tenacity towards bettering the sport and never being complacent set a high bar. They have attracted tremendous mainstream attention and support because of this. These cowboys are laying their lives on the line week in and week out, and the money they are competing for can be life-changing and well worth the risk. Ariat is proudly entering its 14th year as the official boot of the PBR.
What kind of experience can a first timer expect at a Professional Bull Riding event?
Have you been to a rock concert that made the hair on your neck stand up? What about a super-cross event where the pyrotechnics are plentiful. Lastly, have you attended a rodeo primarily because you want to watch a grown man ride an 1,800-pound animal for 8-seconds? Smash all of that together, and you will get three hours of solid entertainment that is perfect for the whole family or a girls/guys’ night out on the town. Trust me when I say whatever you think it will be like – you are likely wrong. Just go – you won’t regret it.
Tell us about the Ariat Athletes and can we expect to see any of them represented at the Finals? Who are other top contenders for 2022?
Ariat has been extremely fortunate to partner with the most elite Professional Bull Riders in the World. We have seen many world champions and multiple world finals qualifiers through our roster over the years. In 2022 you will see that three of the top five bull riders in the world standings are Ariat Athletes and five of the top ten. Overall, we roughly have thirteen Ariat Athletes qualified to compete in the World Finals.
Who are the bulls to beat this year?
The animal athletes that will make their way through the doors of the Dickies Arena over the cumulative seven-day event are as equally, if not more, critical to the overall success of the event. These bulls are what makes these riders and this event great. The Stock Contractors who take care of these animals are sure that these big guys are at peak physical and health levels. To say that they are spoiled and treated like kings is an understatement.
There are once-in-a-lifetime bulls like the hall of fame inductee and three-time PBR World Champion, Bushwacker, making a special appearance at the Cavender’s Stockyards location on Saturday, May 14th. Bushwacker has since been retired but is still highly taken care of by his owner and Ariat Stock Contractor, Julio Moreno. This year at the World Finals, you will want to keep your eye out for a 2022 World Champion Bull contender named Ridin Solo, owned by six-time PBR World Finals Qualifier and Ariat Stock Contractor Cord McCoy.
These athletes a have an opportunity to earn the most money in western sports and bull riding seems to be the discipline with the largest fan base. Why do you think that is?
The PBR has done a phenomenal job in creating an event where the cowboys can be well-liked and have a strong fan following, but the bulls also do. Some people attend that want to see the guys do well, and others strictly cheer on the bulls. It’s wildly entertaining because of the first-class production that keeps the event upbeat and never dull. Professionals like PBR Arena Announcer and Ariat Ambassador Clint Adkins are geniuses for their ability to keep the audience engaged and entertained. The next-level production has amounted to many sell-out crowds, fans across the nation wanting to tune on broadcast television, and many brands wanting to align themselves with the PBR. When butts are in seats, eyes are on TVs, and partnership dollars are rolling in, the money begins to runneth over, providing more significant monetary opportunity for the bull riders.
We’re seeing things change massively this year for the 2022 PBR World Finals. Not only is it coming to Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena but it’s now a 10-day event. What can we expect?
The PBR is pushing all their chips in. They are working tirelessly to create a unique and memorable western experience. Surrounding the PBR World Finals, they have partnered with some of the most incredible organizations in western sports to be featured throughout the week, whether at the Dickies Arena, Will Rogers Memorial Center, or the Historic Stockyards. They plan to bring the biggest party Texas has ever seen into Fort Worth as a 10-day Festival.
What’s been the biggest thing you’ve seen that people are most excited for? What are you most excited for?
Other than the marquee event (PBR World Finals), it’s hard not to be excited overall about all that will be offered or showcased over the next ten days. There is barrel racing, bullfighting, rodeos, parades, youth events, tons of shopping, and more food than you can handle. I’m looking forward to seeing families and friends out and thoroughly enjoying and indulging themselves in the western lifestyle.
It being a 10-day event, what’s a can’t miss event or one you’d recommend for our audience?
Try to do as much as you can. It will be a true representation of an authentic western destination. If you are bored, you are probably still in your hotel room. There is so much to see and do, but there is something extraordinary about the Fort Worth Stockyards. The sights, the smells, and the historical beauty is something that everyone should treat themselves to.
How should a person prepare to attend the PBR World Finals?
It’s relatively simple. Your first stop will have to be to your local Cavender’s Store location and ask an associate to help hook you up with the latest Ariat boots, jeans, and shirts. Once you have those items, you are all set.
What can you say about the future of Professional Bull Riding, the fans, and the expansion of the western industry?
Complacency is not in the PBR’s vocabulary. They are constantly looking at new ways to better the sport for the cowboys and the experience for the fans. They have done that by announcing a new team-format league to complement the premier tour. They have taken what has traditionally been an individual sport to what will now have tremendous team comradery like other traditional sports. There will be hometowns, mascots, fan merchandise, etc. There is no better time to be involved in western sports and this industry. The romance of the American cowboy is trending around the world, and we have an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of that. Exciting times for sure!