2023 NFBR Calf Pens Set: “It’s Going to be a Fun Roping”

The three pens of calves being used in the 2023 NFBR have been determined.

Joey Williams ropes at the 2021 NFBR. Jamie Arviso photo

The pens of calves for the 2023 NFBR calves have been decided, with Pen 1 debuting in Round 1 of the Finals Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m.

Following the run-through Monday evening, WPRA Western Roping Director Lynn Smith expressed her satisfaction with how the calves were able to be sorted.

“This is going to be a fun roping,” Smith said.

The black calves weighing about 300 pounds were brought by Lanham Mangold, who is also supplying the tie-down stock for the NFBR.

The Texas-to-Vegas transition

The calves were initially evaluated together at a jackpot in Ponder, Texas, following the WPRA Finals in Waco. Smith explained that the jackpot was a covered pen with open sides, and the calves ran harder in Texas than they did Monday evening in Las Vegas.

“Another factor here in Las Vegas is that the people handling the calves have a lot of influence on how they look,” Smith said. “More stress free. Not quite as much fight, which helps immensely on how they look, start and leave. They’re going to be roped by the Top 15 in the world, and if they’re not late, these calves won’t try as hard. If they’re late, these sum bitches will run.”

WPRA Roping Directors Lynn Smith and Christi Braudrick work alongside Hali Williams, Martha Angelone, Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Domer to sort the NFBR calves into pens
WPRA Roping Directors Lynn Smith and Christi Braudrick work alongside Hali Williams, Martha Angelone, Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Domer to sort the calves into pens. BRJ File Photo

2023 NFBR Calf Pens

Pen 1: “These are the absolute best calves we have,” Smith said. “These are the ones that are more seasoned with jackpots and they will run four times.”

Pen 2: “These are good calves, and some will run a tick stronger.”

Pen 3: “These are going to be soft.”

Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7Round 8Round 9Round 10
Pen 1Pen 2 Pen 3Pen 1Pen 2Pen 3Pen 1Pen 2Pen 3Pen 1
2023 NFBR calf pen schedule.

“We were able to sort out any that the girls really didn’t like and put them as extras,” Smith said. “We have five extras in each pen, and they’re ranked from most desirable to least.”


Coverage of the 2023 NFBR is made possible by the incredible support from our friends at Resistol. Read more 2023 NFBR News.

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