World's Toughest returns to Rockford

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111159676315914.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of’, ‘The World's Toughest Bulls and Broncs series returns to the Rockford MetroCentre for multiple performances March 25-26.’);

Dodge World’s Toughest Bulls and Broncs returns to the MetroCentre Friday and Saturday, March 25-26. Ticket prices start at $10, and kids’ tickets are half price. It’s a whole new look for World’s Toughest, but the same great rodeo action you’ve seen for 27 years. It’s bulls, it’s broncs, and it’s live.

Bo Casper, Bareback Champion, is prepared to defend his first WTR title against the likes of Bee Jay Scott, Tim Wilkinson and Jason Wylie. Wilkinson has three times claimed the WTR Bareback Champion’s buckle and is currently sitting in the No. 1 spot of the World’s Toughest standings. He’s claimed that lead with nearly $13,000 won to date and he’s 350-plus points ahead of the No. 2 gunner, BeeJay Scott. Time will tell if the veteran Wilkinson can hold onto his lead or if the three-time reserve champion, Scott will finally make this his year for the WTBB title.

In bronc riding, three-time WTR champion Bobby Griswold is just returning from the Wrangler NFR, ready to roll. This veteran is consistent in his riding and often beats out the younger guys through experience, but hot on his tail is Marc Huver and Marty Hebb. Huver is an all-around cowboy since his high school days and is eager to nail down his first WTR championship. Hebb from Eagle Butte, S.D. is six times Indian National Finals Saddle Bronc Champion, new to the WTR team. Hebb quickly earned his stripes, ending last year in spot No. 4. Hebb is currently dominating the standings with more than $10,000 won and nearly 100 points between him and Jon Clark at No. 2.

Bull riding at its best! First-time WTR Champion James Crider is in the best shape of his life and ready to ride the 2005 series of WT Rodeo! He and fellow bull rider Travis Sellers have been battling it out all season, and it will definitely come down to the wire. Not far behind and looking for a shot at the title is Mike Kappes. Kappes is no stranger to the bull riding or World’s Toughest, and sometimes experience wins out over youth. Look for lots of action in the bull riding as world class bull riders gather to take on the bulls of World’s Toughest.

The barrel racing competition may look like a runaway with two-time WTR Champion Shelane Piatt taking it all again, but there’s more to barrel racing than meets the eye. Arena footing, horse health (physical and mental), rider conditioning, draw position, and more all come into play when chasing after the year-end title. Don’t count out the ladies hot on her tail, Tammy Whyte, Margo Ransom, and Peggy Dvorsky.

In addition to champion cowboys and cowgirls, this year’s featured entertainment includes rodeo clown Keith Isley, 4 times PRCA Entertainer of the Year; Roger Mooney, 2 times Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Announcer and 4 times Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo Announcer; and Equine Extremist, Tommie Turvey. World’s Toughest Rodeo features family entertainment at family prices.

Tickets start at $10; kids 12 and under are always half price; kids at Saturday’s performance will receive a free cowboy hat. Tickets are family priced at $30, $20, $16 and $10. (Additional fees may apply.) Adult tickets purchased for Friday’s performance prior to Friday, March 25 are $5 off the regular price adult ticket.

Tickets are available at or charge by phone 815-968-5222 or at the MetroCentre box office. Group rates (for groups of 20 or more) are available by calling, 968-5600, ext. 240. For more information, call 968-5222.

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