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NFR Ready to Start Thursday | Events

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NFR Ready to Start Thursday
NFR Ready to Start Thursday

The National Finals Rodeo begins another 10-day run at the Thomas & Mack Center Thursday.

The top 15 cowboys and cowgirls in seven categories will compete for a share of the $6.25 million in prize money.

For some competitors this is their first time at this rodeo. 

"I've dreamed about it since I was old enough to watch TV. The NFR, it really is a dream come true. It has been a life long goal of mine to make it here," team roper Caleb Smidt said.

"They got a lot of money out here, and I want to get my name on a few of those checks, that is the main thing, " bull rider Cole Echles, who is also making his debut at NFR, said.

The general manager of the rodeo says he always knew the event has the potential to be a big draw.

"When we first came here, it was basically a rodeo and we put a little color on the front end and had a few decorations," Shawn Davis said, "I always knew we had to grow with the expectations of the town and now it is a production."  

NFR runs from Dec. 5 through Dec. 14.  Last year, close to 176,000 fans attended the national finals and only 53,000 were from outside of the Las Vegas valley.