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Driver Rolls the Dice – World Champions Rodeo Alliance


Let’s gamble!

Who’ll wager four days in the arena for a potential max payout of $34,500?

And then possibly double down for one more day for a big share of $1 million?

Seem like a good bet? Jennifer Driver believes it is so the West Texas cowgirl has anted up in the World Champions Rodeo Alliance’s (WCRA) Last Chance Qualifier for the 2024 edition of Rodeo Corpus Christi to be held May 7-11

Jennifer Driver during the Barrel Racing progressive round at the WCRA Stampede at the E. Photo by Andy Watson

Only the top 20 on the WCRA’s Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard earn a spot to compete in that $600,000-plus rodeo and Driver was not amongst them when the segment nominations closed on April 7.

Luckily for Driver—and rodeo athletes everywhere—the WCRA is all about creating opportunity and has left four positions into Corpus open for winners of their Last Chance Qualifier side pots.

Corpus is completely worth the gamble all on its own with a guaranteed $15,000 to the event winner along with some of the most unique swag in all of professional rodeo including a custom surfboard.

But the big rodeo inside American Bank Center right on the banks of Corpus Christi Bay has an even sweeter payoff in 2024. The winners in Corpus will be part of the WCRA’s Free Riders, an entrant into the inaugural $1 million Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo (KRRR) and that’s the part that’s got Driver’s interest up.

“I hadn’t been nominating for Corpus, just the Women’s Rodeo [World Championships, another lucrative WCRA offering held in May], until I saw the Kid Rock deal,” Driver admitted.

Jennifer Driver during the second round of the WCRA Women’s Rodeo World Championship. Photo by Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

The perennial WCRA competitor hadn’t planned on traveling much this spring but the announcement of the innovative new event had her rethinking things.

“I thought, that would be really good,” she said. “It’ll be neat, something different that’s adding a little twist.”

Driver has already been there, done that in rodeo, a Tarleton State University Hall of Fame member who won the All Around and barrel racing at the 1999 College National Finals Rodeo before moving on to a solid professional career.

So when she saw the unique ideas around KRRR, she wanted to be a part of it.

The bracket-style team rodeo will be held May 17 at AT&T Stadium on the eve of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals. There are six teams, each with all-star coaches, comprised of two contestants in each of the major rodeo events.

The winning team will bank a cool half million dollars.

Five of the teams have been chosen via a draft but the final team, the Free Riders, will be decided in Corpus. The top two contestants in each discipline following the Triple Crown Round on Saturday, May 11 will earn their spot on the roster.

The ultimate for Driver would be make up the whole Free Rider barrel racing contingent alongside daughter Jordan.

“We actually talked about that, that would be so much fun,” Driver said. “It’s too cool of an opportunity not to try to do it.”

But first things first. Thanks to text and social media reminders from WCRA, Driver entered up the Last Chance Qualifier being held with the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, practically a home town event for Driver.

“It’s seventy miles so about an hour and fifteen minutes away,” Driver said of the trek from the Driver Ranch in Garden City to San Angelo. “For West Texas, that’s close.”

“The WCRA is really good at sending a lot of texts to keep you updated on things that are coming up,” she noted. “I had kinda forgotten about it but I got another text a couple of days before [the rodeo] to remind me and I entered up.”

Driver made solid runs and will have to wait for the rodeo’s conclusion on April 19th to see if she was the top placing contestant among those entered in the Last Chance Qualifier side pot.

“I won’t know until it’s over but I’ve got a chance!”

Meanwhile, her daughter, who is following in her mother’s footsteps at Tarleton State, won’t be sweating it out, trying to grab one of the diminishing available positions.

“Jordan was already qualified,” Driver said. In fact, she finished 12th on the RCC Leaderboard.

If she gets there, Driver is set to run Frenchmansdiscorose, aka Mouse, a ten year old mare that the younger Driver had been running until last summer.

“She [Jordan] left her home and I was keeping her in shape . . . actually I wasn’t keeping her in shape so she didn’t get run a whole lot last year,” Driver explained with a laugh.

An early year assessment of their herd had her trying Mouse again.

Jennifer Driver during the Womens Rodeo World Championships November 12, 2020. Photo by Josh Homer/Bull Stock Media. Photo credit must be given on all uses.

“We had a bunch of horses and we thought we should sell the ones we weren’t running so I got her back in shape,” Driver said. “I started running her and I placed everywhere so Jordan said, maybe we should keep her for a backup!”

“That little mare should really like that setup [in Corpus].”

With the close of the Clark County Fair & Rodeo in Logandale on April 14 and San Angelo ending April 19, there are just two more Last Chance Qualifier opportunities. Those will be held in McDonald, Tennessee April 26-27 and Guymon, Oklahoma, May 3-5.

For Driver, this opportunity—and the WCRA’s schedule on the whole—gives her the ultimate compromise to keep doing what she loves without doing what she doesn’t.

“I think every little girl that rodeos dreams of going to the NFR [National Finals Rodeo] but it changes as you get older,” Driver explained. “I still go some but I pick and choose and I have several horses so I like to go where I can run all of them.”

“I still love rodeoing but I don’t love the road,” she continued, noting she gets to nominate at jackpots and high stakes barrel races that are closer to home. “WCRA gives you a neat opportunity to rodeo when you can make it and not have to go all over the country.”

“I really love the WCRA for that.”

For more information on the Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo, visit kidrocknrodeo.com and stay tuned to wcrarodeo.com for the latest information.

Here’s how to take advantage of the remaining Last Chance Qualifiers to try to get to Corpus Christi and Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo:

1.     Enter one of the Last Chance qualifier events (see below).

2.     Go to NextGen Rodeo and enter the WCRA RCC side pot. Entry fee is $500.

3.     Be the highest placing competitor in the side pot to earn a spot in Corpus Christi.

Last Chance Qualifier Schedule:

Clark County Fair & Rodeo, PRCA, Logandale, Nevada, April 10-14—COMPLETE

San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, PRCA, San Angelo, Texas, April 5-19

4th Annual Alhambra Shrine Rodeo, IPRA, McDonald, Tennessee, April 26-27

Guymon Pioneer Days, PRCA, Guymon, Oklahoma, May 3-5



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