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      Champions Challenge takes over Tri-State Fair Rodeo

      They're riding and they're roping for the big bucks, and if everything is bigger in Texas, than the newest Wrangler Champions Challenge is no exception.

      The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) launched the challenge that will feature 10 top competitors in each of the seven events.

      President of the Tri-State Fair and Exposition, Gary Fletcher, said "The world's champion from every event is here. Plus the top seven of the ranking from last year are here. Plus Amarillo's champion from last year...So it's the equivalent of a night at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas."

      Amarillo is the second stop on the PRCA's newest challenge that will hit four cities across the United States. The challenge also presents some new formatting for riders.

      "The format is actually designed to be on TV." Fletcher said. "This event will be recorded andRwill be shown on the great american country on Sept. 29 and Oct. 5."

      Tight End Roper, Shane Hanchey, said he didn't do anything different to prepare for tonight's competition, but when the clock starts he knows he's competing against nine other world champions.

      "You know, I was able to win Redding with an 8.3 and that's just a pretty good run." Hanchey said. "The times here are going to be pretty good. I am going to say the ropers are going to be on their best game because they're the best in the world. I'm going to say you're going to have to beat a seven if you want to win something and that's getting it on."

      The regular PRCA rodeo will start Thursday and run until Saturday at the Tri-State Fair.