Cowboy News


May 22, 2019           

Contact: Ann Bleiker, 719.330.4293


SALT LAKE CITY (May 22, 2019) – The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is once again extending a qualification to compete at their $1 million rodeo to the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) Champions.  

Want to know what that can mean for a college student, just look to Kellan Johnson.  Last June, the Gillette College athlete teamed with Trey Yates to win the team roping title at the CNFR in Casper, Wyo. That win qualified them for the 2018 Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank in Salt Lake City that boasted a $1 million payout and Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. 

Due to other rodeo commitments at the time, Yates wasn’t able to compete in Salt Lake City so that is when Johnson’s younger brother Carson came into the picture. The Days of ’47 also took 20 entries from the World Champions Rodeo Alliance’s (WCRA) Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) system, in which contestants nominate events they’re already competing in to earn points, which in turn qualify them for big-money events.

“When Trey said he wasn’t going to go to Salt Lake, my dad found out how it worked, and how you can nominate rodeos,” Carson Johnson told the Team Roping Journal last year about the WCRA. “I nominated six amateur rodeos in Colorado and Nebraska, and winning the rodeo in Brush, Colorado, with Kellan got me into Salt Lake. I think the virtual qualifying system is pretty cool because it gives you a second chance to get something out of a rodeo you’re already entered in.”

And what an opportunity it was for the Johnson boys (Kellan, 19, and Carson, 17).  The sons of PRCA World Champion Jhett Johnson roped their way to $53,200 a piece and gold medals. Other college champions that capitalized on the opportunity were East Mississippi Community College steer wrestler, Tristan Martin, $800 and Cisco College tie-down roper, Ty Harris, $2,400.  Wyatt Adams, Clovis (CA) Community College team roping heeler, who got to roll up when Yates declined, also took $800 home from Salt Lake City.

Champions in the seven standard rodeo events and women’s breakaway roping from the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo will have their shot at competing for a share of over $1 million this July. For the first time ever at the Days of ’47, women’s breakaway roping will be one of the featured events. 

“We strive to bring the best in the sport of rodeo to the Great Salt Lake Valley to celebrate Utah’s heritage and continue one of Utah’s longest-standing traditions,” said Dan Shaw, Chairman of the board for the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo. “Due to our partnership with PBR (Professional Bull Riders), WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and our rodeo partners via the trial events, we are able to bring great talent from all areas for this one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo.”

A total of 288 competitors will have a chance to compete at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo and take their shot at a share of the over $1 million in prize money and the coveted medals in 2019. The Gold Medal Rodeo will showcase eight rodeo events featuring 32 competitors in each with eight competitors per performance starting on Friday, July 19.  The top two from each performance, along with two via the Wild Card category, will advance to the Gold Medal Round on July 24 where ten competitors in each event will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $50,000 cash. 

“Last year our Gold Medal Round featured world champions, defending Days of ’47 champions, college champions and an 11-year-old barrel racer further proving our event features all the best the sport of rodeo has to offer,” noted Tommy Joe Lucia, General Manager of the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo. “We hope that not only the contestants but also the fans will make this a destination event where they can experience Utah and Life Elevated. Fans not only have the opportunity to experience a world-class rodeo at night but can enjoy all the adventure Utah has to offer during the day.”

In addition to the CNFR, contestants can qualify through the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) system. The top 20 in each event, excluding bull riding and breakaway, on the WCRA leaderboard as of July 8, 2019, will qualify. For bull riders 12 will qualify via the WCRA VRQ and 28 breakaway ropers. For more information on WCRA and how to nominate to earn points visit

Bull riders will need to have a PBR card and be registered on the WRCA App to compete while all others must be registered with the WCRA to compete in Salt Lake City.

The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, July 19-20 and 22-24, will take place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom designed and built for rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats. 

For only the fifth time in the history of rodeo, riders will have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002) when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad and the other two times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo in 2017 and 2018. The medals that will be awarded at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Tickets are currently on sale at For more information on the event visit


The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will broadcast exclusively on PBR’s RidePass via or the RidePass mobile app. The final Gold Medal Round will be broadcast on CBS at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 28.