Saddle Bronc Rider Isaac Diaz in Contention to Win $1 Million Triple Crown of Rodeo

by Chris Dize
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— 39 Athletes From the Carolinas Qualify to Compete —

 MILL SPRING, N.C. (September 25, 2023) Ahead of the WCRA’S (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) inaugural Rodeo Carolina in Mill Spring, North Carolina, the richest rodeo East of the Mississippi, the organization today announced the 207 athletes who will compete at the final 2023 Triple Crown of Rodeo (TCR) event, as the intense battle to be crowned a WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo victor approaches a climactic end October 6-8 at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort.

A first on multiple fronts, not only is Rodeo Carolina a groundbreaking event in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also marks the inaugural Western rodeo at Tryon International, a state-of-the-art venue built for the FEI World Equestrian Games. Rodeo Carolina will mark a merging of disciples like never before as some of the Western sport’s preeminent talents compete at the same facilities that have hosted Olympic contenders in show jumping, dressage, and more.

In a fiercely competitive season, one athlete has emerged victorious, winning two WCRA TCR events the become the chief contender for the $1 million bonus –saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz (Desdemona, Texas). The annual TCR bonus will award $1 million to any athlete or group of athletes who win first in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. The most recent event for the Triple Crown of Rodeo was held in May 2023 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Should Diaz, who has won consecutive Majors in December in Fort Worth, Texas, and in May in Corpus Christi, Texas, prevail at Rodeo Carolina, he would be crowned the second champion of the coveted WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo, presented by Lazy E Ranch, winning the substantial $1 million bonus.

The Triple Round of Rodeo contender was the first WCRA Saddle Bronc Champion, winning during the organization’s first event, the Windy City Roundup in Chicago in 2019. The Texas Cowboy has more than $120,000 across WCRA competition.

Athletes who join Diaz as Triple Crown of Rodeo eligible are: Trisyn Kalawaia (steer wrestling), Mason Clements (bareback riding), Martha Angelone (team roping header), Riley Kittle (team roping header), Jackie Crawford (team roping heeling), Jace Helton (team roping heeling), Kelsie Domer (breakaway roping), Shad Mayfield (tie-down roping) and Cheyenne Wimberly (barrel racing). Each of these athletes will begin Rodeo Carolina with one WCRA Major victory.

Alongside the $1 million WCRA TCR bonus contenders, the field of more than 200 accomplished Western sports athletes will feature 39 competitors from the Carolinas. Below is the list of athletes from North and South Carolina set to compete at Rodeo Carolina:


Adam Plyler Pageland, SC Team Roping Heeler
Alex Jenks Cherryville, NC Bull Riding
Bailey Lloyd Cleveland, NC Breakaway Roping
Blake Walker Forest City, NC Steer Wrestling
Blake Walker Forest City, NC Team Roping Heeler
Caroline Bowen Harrells, NC Breakaway Roping
Cassie Fielden Olin, NC Breakaway Roping
Cliff Hammond Landrum, SC Tie-Down Roping
Cord Webb Marietta, SC Steer Wrestling
Corey Webb Piedmont, SC Steer Wrestling
Crystal Bishop Inman, SC Breakaway Roping
Cynch Whitesell Marietta, SC Tie-Down Roping
Emme Colvard Crumpler, NC Breakaway Roping
Grace Bryant Pendleton, SC Breakaway Roping
Grace Toberer Mount Ulla, NC Breakaway Roping
Heath King Leicester, NC Team Roping Header
Jacob Dagenhart Statesville, NC Team Roping Header
Jarred Linton Chesterfield, SC Team Roping Heeler
Jessi Kerlin Mooresville, NC Barrel Racing
Jill Johnson Seneca, SC Barrel Racing
Jini Justice Springfield, SC Breakaway Roping
Joe Cook Barnwell, SC Steer Wrestling
Kameron Merck Easley, SC Bareback Riding
Kolby Whitesell Marietta, SC Breakaway Roping
Kristin Yde Raleigh, NC Barrel Racing
Leah Hunter Greer, SC Breakaway Roping
Mandy Cook Barnwell, SC Barrel Racing
Matt Futrell Statesville, NC Team Roping Heeler
Matt Futrell Statesville, NC Tie-Down Roping
Michael Lane Angier, NC Bull Riding
Payton Bush Taylorsville, NC Barrel Racing
Rick Scruggs Campobello, SC Team Roping Heeler
Robbie Murdock Statesville, NC Tie-Down Roping
Taylor Digh Benson, NC Breakaway Roping
Taylor Earnhardt Putna Mooresville, SC Barrel Racing
Tori Murdock Statesville, NC Breakaway Roping
Tristin McClain Donalds, SC Saddle Bronc Riding
Will Rector Rock Hill, SC Team Roping Header
Wyatt Reid Rock Hill, SC Team Roping Header

The remaining roster includes 177 timed event athletes and 30 roughstock athletes who qualified by nominating their efforts on the WCRA VRQ leaderboard.

To view the complete roster, please click HERE.

Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort is one of the most picturesque equestrian facilities in the country and is located within the Blue Ridge Foothills of Mill Spring, North Carolina. The year-round event venue features multi-discipline international and national equestrian competitions, live music, arts and entertainment, and holiday events.

With onsite shops, diverse dining options, and a robust entertainment calendar, non-equestrian visitors are equally marveled by the Tryon Resort experience.

Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort spans 1,600 acres and boasts 13 competition arenas, 1,400 permanent stalls, and various restaurants, shops, and lodging options. A nearby sporting clay course completes the Tryon Resort family of brands at Cleghorn Gun Club and the Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club.

Tickets for Rodeo Carolina are on sale now and can be purchased online at tryon.com or etix.com or via the phone to PBR Customer Service at (800) 732-1727.

Since launching in May 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $15.7 Million in new money to rodeo athletes. All rodeo athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA or the VRQ should be directed to wcrarodeo.com.


About WCRA

WCRA is a professional sport and entertainment entity created to develop and advance the sport of rodeo by aligning all levels of competition. In association with the PBR, WCRA produces major rodeo events, developing additional opportunities for rodeo-industry competitors, stakeholders, and fans. To learn more, visit wcrarodeo.com. For athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) system, visit app.wcrarodeo.com.

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