Where do you stay in Las Vegas if glitz, glamour and gambling just aren’t your thing? Oh… and you just happen to be one of the world’s best bucking horses.

Reckless Margie, Stampede Warrior and Tootsie Roll relax in their home-away-from-home in Las Vegas

Just like any elite athlete, the horses invited to compete at the National Finals Rodeo need to be relaxed, comfortable and eating and drinking well in order to be able to perform at the top of their game. Finding that comfort zone can be a challenge – especially smack dab in the middle of the bright lights of Vegas.

The horses also need to be close to the Thomas and Mack Center, where the nightly performances of the NFR take place. And that’s where a nearby football field comes in very handy.

Fourteen horses and one bull made the trip to Las Vegas from the Calgary Stampede Ranch

For a few weeks in December, yard lines are replaced by fence lines. The grassy gridiron is sectioned into pens and exercise spaces. It’s a unique space in the middle of the city, and the Calgary contingent settled in quickly.

Their comfort level shows in the success of their early performances, bucking well and wowing the big rodeo-loving crowds.

Tiger Warrior carries CoBurn Bradshaw to the win – photo courtesy of the PRCA

Tiger Warrior was an early standout, taking Coburn Bradshaw on a wild ride on the second night of action. Bradshaw managed to match Tiger’s moves, and together the pair scored a round winning 89.5. Bradshaw, riding with a new saddle, was a bit worried about his draw in the eliminator pen of broncs.

“I knew Tiger Warrior was a good horse and my leathers were feeling good. I was nervous about Tiger Warrior because he is big and strong, and I was questioning my saddle, but now my confidence is up.” Bradshaw told the Wrangler Network.

The NFR continues through until December 16, and win or not, the Calgary Stampede will continue to be proud of the athletes from the Born to Buck program that are representing us so well in Las Vegas!