PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, December 30, 2013
The 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is in the books and what a great event is was! The Thomas and Mack Center was electrifying with every event literally making the stands vibrate! What an experience it is! Hopefully, our entire readership has experienced the Wrangler NFR. If not, put it on your must do list for 2014, as all rodeo fans owe it to themselves to experience the excitement of rodeo at its best.
All of the WPRA is so proud of Sherry Cervi and Stingray for winning another World Championship, the NFR average, Horse with the Most Heart, and the prestigious Ram Top Gun Award. She did all of this with flawless, consistent, heart stopping runs, that placed them in every round! What an accomplishment for this awesome pair. They took home a grand total of $155,899 from the Finals for a total of $303,317 for 2013 earnings! I can only imagine how proud Sherry's parents and family are of these accomplishments from their breeding program that they have spent a lifetime building. Congratulations to the entire Potter family!
Fans from all over the world were able to vote to help select the "Best Dressed" barrel racer to be the recipient of the coveted Jerry Ann Taylor Award. When the votes were tallied, there was no doubting that Fallon Taylor was the standout in the competition. This $5,000 cash award is given by the family of Jerry Ann Taylor and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in honor the flamboyant style of dress that Jerry Ann Taylor was known for. Fallon Taylor certainly lived up to this criteria! Her outfits were custom designed by artists from all over the world who entered their designs in the contest that Fallon ran on social media. Each outfit was hand detailed, with hats and belts to match each outfit, plus matching wraps and tinsel on Baby Flo. Oh yes, Fallon's make up also matched! This pair brought a lot of excitement to the barrel race, and certainly raised the bar for future best dressed awards. Congrats, Fallon, job well done!
Reserve World Champion honors went to Mary Walker and her great horse, Latte. Mary won $92,274 at the Finals making her total earnings for 2013 $229,363. Mary is a most gracious champion. She gives of herself when ever she can, whether it is autograph sessions or the exceptional rodeo, Mary gives back to her fans in unselfish ways.
Rookie, Taylor Jacob, was the talk of the Wrangler NFR when she broke the arena record with a 13.37. With NFR earnings of $82,431, and World earnings of $164,484, she proved what she and Bo are serious contenders in any arena! Jacob took home three gorgeous saddles from the saddle rotation program, the WPRA Rookie, WNFR Fast time, and a Top 15 Qualifier saddle! Pretty awesome for the Texas A&M graduate in her first year as a WPRA cardholder!
If you were in Las Vegas, I hope you stopped by the WPRA booth at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show. All of the saddle rotations saddles were on display, and they were outstanding! Jerri Mann, WPRA Vice President, does such a great job with the saddle rotation program, plus she is responsible for getting all the fabulous awards for the top 15. If you attended the Star Celebration, you can appreciate all the work that goes into these awards. Thank you, Jerri, for all the work you do!
It is my pleasure to announce that the WPRA will be going back to Houston in 2014! By the time you receive this issue of our magazine, members will have been notified of the approval by email, and will have had the opportunity to enter this great rodeo. Thank you to the Houston Committee for being so willing to work with us! We are looking forward to being back!
Another important rodeo was just approved by the WPRA and will have a different format than in the past. The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, July 9 thru 12, has dropped the limits on the barrel race. There will be a qualifying round on July 5th that is open to all WPRA members! Forty will progress to the rodeo with $35,000 added. Thanks to the Colorado Springs Committee for making it possible for all members to have the opportunity to compete.
There is some good news for the WPRA Tour contestants as San Antonio has agreed to take two from the 2013 WPRA Tour for their qualifications
into San Antonio. Be sure to check the WPRA web site for entries and qualifications for Houston, San Antonio, and Colorado Springs.
Happy New Year to everyone! Wishing you all a great 2014!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, December 1, 2013
The WPRA World Finals are in the books, and what a great event they were. The Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas is the perfect place for the WPRA to call home. With two indoor arenas running at the same time, there was never a dull moment. A person could watch barrel racing all day with continuous events running well into the evening. If you wanted to watch world championships being won, just walk to the second arena and watch the roping events. Awesome facility, great people, excellent ground, dedicated sponsors, and lots of added money all went together to produce a very successful WPRA World Finals. We'll be back next year, so put it on your calendar now and make plans to attend.
Many WPRA World Championships were decided at this rodeo. Steve Miller of Montana Silversmiths and Cactus Saddlery were on hand to personally give each winner their gorgeous buckle and saddle certificate. Along with the saddles and buckles, beautiful Five Star saddle pads by Five Star Equine Products were also presented to the winners, as where the awesome jackets and vests by Powder River Outfitters (Panhandle Slim). In addition, Justin Boots to the World Champions and Wrangler certificates to all!
Congratulations to all our World Champions who are listed below.
- All Around and World Champion Tie-Down Roper - Jackie Hobbs
- World Champion Breakaway Roper - Hope Thompson
- World Champion Team Roping Header - Lari Dee Guy
- World Champion Team Roper Heeler - Ashley Mills
- World Champion Junior Barrel Racer - Kylar Terlip
- Futurity World Champion - Lacy Kuschel
- Derby World Champion - Ashley Baur
Other event winners at the Finals:
- WPRA Card Holder Race - Andrea Cline
- WPRA Slot Race - Kassie Mowery
- WPRA Permit Race - Heather Humphries
Thank you to all who helped with the production of this event. TC Long and his experienced team did a fabulous job with the production, D and G Productions kept the ground safe and consistent, Hesston for providing those fabulous tractors that did an amazing job and fun to watch, Katie Hollingsworth and her staff for an awesome job with sponsors, Director Patti McCutchen kept the roping events in line, Jimmie Munroe for bringing the WPRA to this great facility, and our own WPRA staff members who joined right in to make this event successful. Kudos to you all, job well done!
With nine Circuit Finals in the books, we still have three to go in January.
Starting the New Year off with a bang will be Texas, January 2-4, then First Frontier, January 9-11, and finishing up the 2013 season will be Montana, January 10-12. When all the Circuit Finals are wrapped up, there will be 24 qualifiers for the Ram National Circuit Finals in the spring of 2014. Congratulations to all the year end Circuit Champions and Final's Champions for 2013!
By the time you receive this issue, the Wrangler NFR will be in full swing and new World Champions will be crowned. After all the Finals are over, champions crowned, and before the New Year begins, let's all take a breath, kick back a few weeks, and be thankful for all that we have. We are so fortunate to live this lifestyle that we love, to have our families, our friends, and our health. Enjoy this Christmas Season with those you love, and be so thankful for all that you have.
Merry Christmas to you all, and best wishes for 2014!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, November 5, 2013
The 2013 regular season rodeos are over, and what a year it has been! Sherry Cervi finished as the Season Leader with $147,418 and will receive the $7,500 bonus check in Las Vegas for this accomplishment. Sherry topped off this year winning the average at the Turquoise Circuit Finals, which qualified her for the RNCFR next spring in Oklahoma City. Congratulations Sherry and Stingray on an awesome year!
Mary Walker finished behind Sherry Cervi by about $10,000 and will return to the Thomas and Mack to defend her world title. Mary is a true champion inside and outside the arena. In September, she was honored by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City as the recipient of the Tad Lucas award for her courage, strength and compassion which is the spirit of this award. In October, she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of these honors. The WPRA is so proud of Mary and what she has accomplished!
As you go down the list of the top 15, you see that top six have won over $100,000! To me this is such an amazing accomplishment for our sport and these talented horses and women. What a Wrangler NFR we have to look forward to. Speaking of the Wrangler NFR, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is again sponsoring the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award for our contestants. All our fans will have a chance to vote online each night for the cowgirl they felt was the "best dressed" in that performance. In order to recognize the winner at the Wrangler NFR, voting will only be through the first nine performances. The winner will take a home a bonus of $5,000! I have expectations that we will see really great outfits this year. Be sure to vote for your favorite each night!
The coveted AQHA Horse of the Year awards have been announced. The Barrel Racing AQHA Horse of the Year is Flos Heiress, known lovingly as "Babyflo," Fallon Taylor's great mare. What a story this is as Babyflo's sire and dam both ran at the Wrangler NFR with a very young Fallon on their backs. Having known Fallon and her family over all these years, I know this is a dream come true for them. Anyone in the breeding business can appreciate how meaningful this achievement must be for the family to own the mare, the stud, the prodigy, and have your daughter go to the Wrangler NFR on all of them, and then to win the AQHA Horse of the Year is icing on the cake! Congratulations!!!
We are so happy for you all!
What a year this has been for our Rookies! The All American ProRodeo Series Finals held in Waco, was won by Victoria Williams a rookie from Mississippi. With and extremely talented field with several top 15 qualifiers, Williams and her great horse, Three Jets Olena, made their presence known. After working their way through the rounds, and the semifinals, Williams and her seven year old mare clocked the fastest time of the sudden death finals to claim the title and the biggest win of her rookie year. Williams started her career in the WPRA Junior Division in the Southeastern Circuit, and has worked her way up. Congratulations to Victoria and Jets! I am sure we will be hearing lots more about this pair in the 2014 season.
It is my pleasure to announce that the WPRA Board of Directors has approved the 2014 Calgary Stampede! The Stampede Committee welcomed us back as they were very pleased with the great competition and professionalism of our contestants in 2013. We are honored to be a part of this awesome rodeo.
Hopefully while you are in Las Vegas for the rodeo, you will be attending the WPRA Star Celebration on Thursday, December 5 at the South Point Hotel and Casino. Please join us in honoring our top 15 qualifiers, the Justin Best Footing Award winners, and the WPRA Contract Personnel and Special Award recipients. With Pam Minick and Hadley Barrett as masters of ceremonies, you will be entertained. If you would like to attend, please contact the WPRA office for a ticket.
While you are doing your shopping at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, please stop by the WPRA booth and look at our beautiful saddles that make up our saddle rotation program, which awards each NFR qualifier a brand new saddle. These saddles represent the workmanship of the finest saddle makers in the industry. The WPRA is so grateful for the saddle makers support of our Saddle Rotation Program, and we hope you will enjoy looking at their beautiful craftsmanship. In honor of the WPRA 65th year, we have designed a commemorative poster which will be sold at the booth. Part of the proceeds will go to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. Our contestants will be on hand throughout the 10 days to sign autographs, so please take a few minutes to come by and say hi.
Hope to see you all in Vegas!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, October 1, 2013
It's October! Let the Finals begin! October is the month for Finals and 2013 is no exception. Not only do we have many Circuit Finals, two Champion Challenges, The All American Finals, but we also have the WPRA World Finals. Are you ready to rodeo?
The majority of our membership will be competing at their Circuit Finals Rodeos. This makes up the grass roots of our members who aspire to compete at a circuit level. Many of us can't compete at a national level due to jobs and families, so the Circuit Finals are our goal. Thank you to all the committees who work all year long to put these finals on, and congratulations to all our Circuit Qualifiers who achieved their goal!
The following are the Circuit Finals scheduled for October:
Turquoise Circuit Finals, October 3-5, Las Cruces, NM, $3550
Badlands Circuit Finals, October 10-13.Minot, ND, $6500
Prairie Circuit Finals, October 17-19, Duncan, OK, $3000
California Circuit Finals, October 18-20, Lancaster, CA, $3000
Mountain States Circuit Finals, October 24-26, Rock Springs, WY, $3000
Wilderness Circuit Finals, October 24-26, Heber City, UT, $3000
The All American ProRodeo Finals are in Waco, Texas, Oct. 6-12, with the top 30 of the All American standings competing. This series consists of PRCA/WPRA rodeos with a total purse of $30,000 or less. The WPRA has two very good friends and supporters that make this rodeo special for our WPRA contestants. Mary and Troy Gibbs of Louisiana donate $25,000 to the barrel racing purse every year so that our women run at purse money equal to that of the men. A most heartfelt thank you goes to the Gibbs' for their continued support of the WPRA. I hope I get to meet them this year to personally thank them for all they do.
There are two Champions Challenges in October that will be game changers for our sport in that money won will count for World Standings since they are 2014 events. The two, made for TV, rodeos are in Kissimmee, FL on October 5 and in Winnie, TX on October 31, and feature the top 10 contestants in each event. Please be sure to watch your TV schedules so you don't miss the telecasts, as they will be the hottest thing on TV this fall! We are so proud to be a part of this new concept!
Whether you rope or run barrels, I hope you are planning to come to Waco, TX for the WPRA World Finals, October 24- 27, at the Extraco Events Center. Not only is this event one that everyone wants to compete in, but we are also celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the WPRA. It seems like yesterday we had our 50th Anniversary in Fort Worth at Cow Town. Where does the time go? On Thursday night, Oct. 24, we will have a welcoming barbeque and I want to invite everyone to attend. All are invited to celebrate the past, present and future of the WPRA with Texas hospitality and a barbeque sponsored by LT Energy Services. .
Ropers don't miss this one!! The qualifications for the World Finals include more than the top 15, so be sure to enter! The World Champions will be crowned in the roping events, along with World Finals titles. There are four full rounds in the team roping (enter once per side), tie down, and breakaway with $5,000 added in each. Plus, an All Girl Rodeo on Thursday night with $500 added per event. Please check the ground rules on WPRA.com for more information or contact the Roping Director, Patti McCutchen.
The WPRA World Finals will have something for everyone who wants to compete in a great barrel race! There's a $20,000 card holder race, a $10,000 permit-only race, a $5,000 junior race, a $13,500 futurity, a $5,000 derby, plus a $15,000 PESI Bonus! Lots of money and great awards! Plus, money won in the 1D Card Holder Race will apply to 2014 Qualifier Standings for limited entry rodeos, provided you competed in ten 2013 PRCA/WPRA rodeos and will kick off the 2014 WPRA Tour.
During the Salinas Rodeo, I had the pleasure of meeting Taylor Jacob, the WPRA Rookie of the Year. Not only has Taylor had an outstanding rookie year, but is making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in her first year as a card holder! Somehow she has found the time to write the "Rookie Road" column in the WPRA magazine. The advice and thoughts she shares in her column are so profound that all of us can benefit from reading them. Not only is she a great competitor, but an excellent writer too!! Many thanks to her, and best wishes for a great Wrangler NFR!
Hopefully, I will see many of you in Waco at the World Finals! Please come help us celebrate 65 years of Women in Rodeo. See you soon!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, September 1, 2013
How exciting can the race to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo get? As the 2013 season is going into the final stretch, many have clinched a position to run down the alley at the Thomas and Mack in December, but others are still in jeopardy. As of this writing, in mid August, Sherry Cervi is still leading the World Standings, with Mary Walker hot on her heels. Both are trying for the #1 spot in the regular season standings and a $7,500 bonus check awarded at the Wrangler NFR.
What a move Sabrina Ketcham made in July to secure her Wrangler NFR position, and gain her the $7,500 bonus for being the winner of the Wrangler Tour. Congratulations, Sabrina! Another huge jump in the standings was made by Michele McLeod, as she came on so strong, and got on a big winning streak. Both solidified their position to make their first Wrangler NFR. Not only congrats to Sabrina, but to Christy Loflin for second place in the Wrangler Tour, Michele McLeod for third, Sherry Cervi fourth, Kaley Bass fifth, and sixth Sydni Blanchard. Thank you to Wrangler for sponsoring this great Tour and for the $25,000 for the barrel racing bonus money. Rodeo is so grateful for the continued support of Wrangler over so many years!
With many good rodeos left in September, the bottom holes are still up for grabs. What a race this is with only $5,000 separating 12 through 17. No one can weaken as we go into the final month of the 2013 rodeo season. Good luck to all those hauling so hard.
There is a little catching up we have to do on meetings that were held in July. The WPRA held two general membership meetings, with the first one at Cheyenne, followed by Salinas. Both were well attended by concerned members and non-members, and hopefully, all got to voice their opinions. The main concern of members at both meetings was how they could receive their checks from Rodeo Pay rodeos in a timelier manner. The WPRA is talking with the PRCA to become part of their Rodeo Pay system, but it will take sometime to complete this process. After hearing from the members at these meetings, we knew we had to do something for them immediately! Our office worked diligently to come up with a solution to the problem. As of August 1st our members have the option to sign up for direct deposit of their Rodeo Pay checks. By direct deposit, we eliminate the time it takes for the post office to deliver the mail, and will get your checks to you much faster. Hopefully, this will be a temporary fix to the problem, while we are working on Rodeo Pay. Other topics addressed at the meetings were discussions of the Medications Program, and the payoff at Omaha and Puyallup. As of now, we are still trying to find a donor or sponsor to bring our contestants up to equal money with the PRCA events bonus money at these two rodeos. Please, if you know of someone that might be interested in helping, call me! We still have many sponsor opportunities to offer them at Omaha.
Also in July, I had the honor of attending the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund meeting in Fort Worth. I am so proud to be representing the WPRA on this Board again, as I feel that it is one of the most rewarding things that I do. This fund is different than most non profits, in that 100% of the donated money goes back to the injured cowboys and cowgirls in their time of need.
Thank you to Justin and the PRCA for their ongoing support of this fund that has helped so many.
Every month I try to thank a rodeo committee that has gone out of their way to do something special for our WPRA contestants. PLEASE, don't feel left out if I fail to mention your committee. I can't be everywhere or know about how special each committee is, so I need help from the members who call me. This month we tip our hat to the Days of 47 Rodeo in Salt Lake and Spanish Fork Fiesta Days. Salt Lake took hospitality to the max with gear bags for the contestants, Southwest Airlines flight vouchers for the winners, and a great hospitality room, which were all greatly appreciated. Talk about fast consistent ground - How about Spanish Fork? From a 16.90 run by Sabrina Ketcham to a 17.27 for 15th place, gives them something to brag about. Thank you to both of these Wilderness Circuit rodeos for going that extra mile to make things better!
Are you ready for the WPRA World Finals in Waco? I sure hope you are planning to make the trip to Texas, as it is going to be one great production! We have something for everyone, from world championships on the line in the roping, futurity/derby and junior events to barrel racing to fit everyone's level of competition. There is going to be a $20,000 cardholder race, a $10,000 permit only race, a $5,000 junior race, a $13,500 futurity, a $5,000 derby, and an open 5D with $6,000 for members and non-members! I'm especially looking forward to the welcoming reception and all the Texas hospitality that goes with it! Make your plans to be there October 23-27 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
As we go into the last month of the 2013 rodeo season, I wish everyone the best of luck in your final bid for your Circuit Finals or the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Lots can happen in September, so never give up, and most of all be safe!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, August 1, 2013
As I write this letter, I am returning from a whirlwind trip to the Calgary Stampede. I was asked to come for the contestants' meeting prior to the first performance. What a trip it was! The fact that this community could recover from the massive flooding that occurred one week prior to the opening performance is totally a miracle! Hats off to the awesome committee, the hard work and generosity of the thousands of volunteers, the expertise and hard work of the professionals who drained all the water out, hauled the mud from the entire facility, and hauled all new ground into the complex, you are ALL TOTALLY AMAZING! All of this work and effort paid off as the first perfomance went off without a hitch to a sold out crowd. I am so honored to have been invited to Calgary to be able to witness all of the efforts that make this "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth"! I will also never forget the hospitality shown to me by the committee and volunteers in the mix of all that was going on. Thank you all!
Since the Stampede has been medication testing chuck wagon horses for some time, they had some great ideas as to the protocols and procedures they had in place. To begin with, they put in their ground rules that they would be testing the barrel race. They also have a safe test stall all set up not far from the arena. A volunteer is assigned to each drawn number to follow their contestant from the time she leaves the arena to the test barn. They are allowed to water, unsaddle, or whatever is necessary for the horse on the way to be tested, but with the volunteer following them to the stall. We will strive to learn from their example, and make future testing as safe and stress free for our horses as possible. Other things that are worth noting that the committee did for the barrel race are they changed from a closed gate to a run in run out alley, watering and tractoring the entire arena right before the barrel race, tractoring the pattern after five, and providing a hospitality tent for all contestants. Thank you Calgary for setting such a great an example!
Congratulations to Sherry Cervi on her great accomplishment of being the high money winner over the forth with $31,349 in earnings at 11 rodeos. This move jumped her into the lead in the world standings. A lead which she still maintains after Calgary is in the books! Sherry won $32,000 at Calgary on her great mare, Stingray.
Jean Winters, is the big news out of Calgary! How exciting is this? Jean qualified from the WPRA Tour with her win at the World Finals in Lincoln, Neb., last fall. She won the Showdown, and $100,000, of which $50,000 counts for the World Standings, plus $5,000 in the Wildcard. This huge win moves her into sixth in the standings. We'll be seeing lots more of Jean in the next few months as she makes her move to clinch her position for her first Wrangler NFR.
How exciting can it get? As of this writing, we have a very close race for the World Championship heating up. Sherry Cervi, Mary Walker, and Fallon Taylor are all right there, and Sabrina Ketchum has taken a big jump over the Fourth of July run, and the following week, to move up to fourth in the standings. Lots will change over the next month as there are so many great rodeos coming up. Best of luck to all who are making a bid at the Wrangler NFR, Circuit Finals or Tour Rodeos!
Hats off to another committee, who went out of their way to rally, when disaster struck. This time it was not Mother Nature, as in Calgary, but human error. The rodeo in Cheney, Wash., was all prepared for their rodeo July 12-14 and had worked endlessly to prepare the ground. Someone accidentally left a huge water gun running all night and flooded the arena. Slack was scheduled for that afternoon, but the conditions were unacceptable and way too dangerous to compete. What else to do, but cowboy up and take all the mud out and put all new dry ground in? They were ready to rodeo by the performance that night! Way to go Committee! Not only did they have dry ground, but good ground, as there were low 17's run in that first performance. Thank you, Cheney, Wash.!
Thank you Cheyenne for changing from a limited entry rodeo to an open rodeo with over 200 contestants entering. It was great to see so many contestants taking a shot at the Daddy of 'Em All. And another thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the ground really good and consistent…you did a really wonderful job.
Lastly, please keep an eye out for World Finals information….it is going to be exciting in Waco come October.
Good luck in the heat of the summer, and be safe!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, July 1, 2013
It is hard to believe that the summer run is in full swing, and that by the time you receive this issue, Cowboy Christmas will be over! Where does the time go? Many of you are in Canada at the time of this writing, hopefully enjoying the cool weather, and great rodeos. From all reports things are going well up north.
Speaking of Canada, the Calgary Stampede is coming up right after the Fourth of July run is over. Steve Thornton, of Safe Arena Footing (SAF), has worked with the Calgary Committee on making the ground more consistent and safer for all contestants. He has made many suggestions to the committee based on his conversations with the contestants. Although the soil sample never made it across the border to the Texas lab to be analyzed, the advice of the SAF team of experts will prove beneficial. One request the contestants made was to have a run out alley, instead of having to stop in the arena. The Committee liked this suggestion and has worked diligently on providing this alley for the women. It took some relocation of the grandstands to get this request accomplished, but it is in the works for this year. Thank you to the Committee and to Steve Thornton for all their efforts.
Congratulations to all the Calgary qualifiers who will compete for a share of the $330,800 committee purse of which $280,800 will count to the world standings as approved by the WPRA. The following is a list of qualifiers and how they qualified:
The Calgary Stampede Qualifications
Qualifying positions, fill order and drop down rules are as follows:
- 1 position = 2012 Calgary Champion Sue Smith
- 6 positions = 2012 WPRA ProRodeo standings - Mary Walker, Carlee Pierce, Brittany Pozzi, Lindsay Sears, Lisa Lockhart, Kaley Bass
- 4 positions = 2012 CPRA standings - Trula Churchill, Cranna Roberts, Lee Ann Rust, Nancy Csabay
- 4 positions = 2012 WPRA Tour standings - Shada Brazile, Kim Schulze, Nikki Steffes, Jean Winters
- 4 positions = 2013 WPRA Qualifying standings - Fallon Taylor, Jane Melby, Taylor Jacob and Sherry Cervi
- 1 position = 2012 RNCFR Champion (Drop down to 4 positions, Finals only to fill) Cindy Smith
Good luck to all! It is an honor for the WPRA to be back at the Calgary Stampede after a five year absence. I was asked to attend the contestants meeting on July 5, and plan to stay for the first performance.
Plans for the WPRA World Finals are well underway. Janet Cropper, our Executive Secretary, and Patti McCutchen, our Roping Director, met with producer, TC Long, to finalize plans. They were very excited about the progress they made, and feel the World Finals will be a big success. Make your plans now to attend as there will be something for everyone. It is great to be going back to Texas where hospitality prevails! We are planning a welcome Bar B Que, and many more activities to enjoy besides the competition. Mark your calendar for October 23-27 to be in Waco for all the fun and great competition.
A special thank you goes to all rodeo committees and WPRA directors who have worked so hard to set slack at their rodeos so that contestants have a chance to make as many as possible. This is a challenging task, and sometimes just doesn't work for everyone, but we do appreciate your efforts.
Remember we have two general membership meetings coming up in July.
- Cheyenne on July16
- Salinas on July 18th.
Since slack is going to take so long at Cheyenne, I have decided to be in the stands all day for members to stop in whenever they can and ask questions. We will have the WPRA 2012 Audit there for you to look at. Please check the rodeo office for the location. Please make every effort to attend, as I look forward to seeing everyone.
By the time you read this column, I hope the fires in Colorado are under control, and people are beginning to recover. All of us at the WPRA feel so deeply for those who have lost everything at the hands of Mother Nature this year. From tornadoes to fires, many of our friends and members have been affected. We wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.
Be safe and good luck this summer!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, June 1, 2013
On May 13, the WPRA lost one of our finest when Mildred Farris lost her battle with cancer. All of us, who have known Mildred, worked with her, and admired her, feel a deep sense of loss. We will always remember her quiet, calm demeanor and hopefully, those thoughts will help us to continue to lead the WPRA in a manner that would make her proud. Mildred devoted her entire life to the sport of rodeo and the GRA/WPRA. From being a competitor, WPRA cardholder No. 1, GRA President, longtime rodeo secretary, and 2012 Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee, she was a true cowgirl. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to John and her family in the coming days, months and years.
The Champions Challenge at Redding, Calif., is in the books. Congratulations to Mary Walker for her big win! A big thank you to the PRCA, Justin Boots, and Wrangler for including the women of the WPRA as equals in the Champions Challenge. We look forward to working with the PRCA to make this made for TV Rodeo the most exciting rodeo on television that our fans have ever seen! Even down to the applause meter for breaking ties, this new series will be action packed with audience appeal and input. We are proud to be part of it!
The deadline of May 15 for rule proposals has come and gone. Be sure to read the proposals that are listed in this month's issue. I know you will find them interesting, informative, and sometimes, controversial. However you feel about each proposal, remember that one of our members felt deeply enough about the issue to take time to write it up and send it in. The Board will give careful consideration to each and every one. Thank you to all of you that cared enough about your Association to put your ideas of how to make it better into words and submit it as a proposal.
Last month I thanked two committees that recently announced that they were dropping their limits on the number of barrel racing contestants. I failed to give sincere thanks to several others that have dropped their limits this year. The welcomed trend began with Kansas City last fall, thanks to the hard work of Great Lakes Circuit Director Margo Ransom. I also announced that Cheyenne Frontier Days has unlimited entries this year due to the efforts of Mountain State Director Melanie Luark. California Director Marguerite Happy has had success with the California Rodeo in Salinas to welcome all WPRA members to enter their great rodeo. Sarah Kieckhefer, Turquoise Director, has successfully gotten two of her rodeos - Prescott, Ariz., and Lovington, N.M., to open up their entries. Thanks to these rodeos for welcoming all the women of the WPRA to come to your rodeo! We appreciate you very much!
Speaking of Salinas and Cheyenne, we have scheduled two general membership meetings at these rodeos, due to the fact that many members will be there competing. They are schedule for July 16 in Cheyenne and July 18 in Salinas. I look forward to meeting with all members and answering any questions you may have. Please try to attend, so that your voice can be heard. We have also scheduled a meeting during the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas, on Oct. 25. These meetings can be very informative, as you will learn that there are many sides to most issues facing the Association.
Our office staff has compiled some statistics on our membership that I find very interesting and I hope you will as well. First, the great news is that our overall membership is up this year over 2012. We have seen a large increase in permits and juniors, which is wonderful news. These new members are the ones coming up that build our Association! It takes all members, of all ages, to make the whole of the WPRA. The breakdown of type of membership is:
|% of Permits||33%||% by Circuit:|
|% of Cards||49%||Great Lakes||7%|
|% of Juniors||5%||Turquoise||8%|
|% of Gold||11%||Texas||17%|
|% of Roping||2%||Prairie||11%|
As we head into the summer season, I wish you all the best of luck, and safe travels!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, May 1, 2013
What a month it has been since I wrote my first letter after returning to the office of President of the WPRA! The Association has grown by leaps and bounds since I retired in 2003. It took many hours each day, of my first two weeks in office, for our Executive Secretary, Janet Cropper, to get me caught up on all aspects of the WPRA business. We now have the Futurity Division, the Junior Division, the PESI Program that we did not have before. Along with these new programs come new members, new directors, new rules, more sponsors, more bookwork , and a lot of growth for the WPRA. To function more efficiently with the new growth, the Board now has committees that meet by conference calling to address specific areas of WPRA business. The full board meets monthly, or more frequently if needed, also by conference calls. By the way, yes, we get a very good rate per minute on the calls! The committees are: the Business Committee, the Magazine Committee, the Rodeo/Competition Committee, the Marketing and Sponsorship Committee, and the Rule Book Committee. These committees work very efficiently and take their findings and recommendations back to the full board. Meeting by telephone has saved the WPRA a lot of money over the past several years. We are currently having one face to face meeting a year in the spring when the new board is seated.
The Spring Board Meeting was held in Colorado Springs April 23 and 24th. I took this opportunity to go to the Springs a couple of days early to meet the office staff, the PRCA and get to see our office. I was very pleasantly surprised by all! Our office is very nice and meets our needs well. It is just a block from the Courthouse and downtown, and was occupied by a law firm before we purchased it in 2008. Built in the 1960's, it is very unique building with a lot of charm! It is large enough to meet the needs of our growing Association and allows each employee to have their own comfortable office. We also purchased the building next door for a rental property. This has proven to be a very wise decision as the tenant has signed a five year lease.
The PRCA staff made me feel very welcomed, as I happened to arrive during their employee appreciation breakfast, so I got to renew many old friendships. The Commissioner and I met and got caught up on all the rodeo business involving the WPRA and PRCA. He was a very gracious host, and I greatly appreciate him taking the time to meet with me. Kay Bleakly and I also had a productive meeting discussing everything from Rodeo Pay to timing the barrel race.
Congratulations to Brittany Pozzi on her big win at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. What an exciting barrel race it was! Carlee Pierce won the first two rounds, the average, and won the most money of the weekend. However, it was Brittany Pozzi that took command in the semis and the final round to take home the $20,000 voucher for a Ram truck of her choice, a beautiful Twister saddle, a gorgeous Montana Silversmith buckle, and $19,125! Congratulations also goes to Cindy Smith for a third place win which gives her the Calgary qualification from the RNCFR. Since Pozzi and Pierce were already qualified, we dropped down to third to get the qualifier. A big hats off and thank you goes to the PRCA, Ram Rodeo, and Express Lazy E Sports Productions for such a great event!
Steve Thorton and his crew at Safe Arena Footing are on target to reach their goal of making the ground at the Calgary Stampede safer and more consistent than it has ever been before. They have had two conference calls with six contestants that have competed at Calgary many times to get their opinion on the ground and how to make it better. These contestants offered very valuable information based on their experiences at Calgary. The SAF crew is extremely knowledgeable in all types of ground and what it takes to have safety and consistency. Remember they are always willing to help you or a committee improve the ground conditions at the rodeo or at home!
Your directors are constantly working toward getting the limited entry rodeos to open their entries in the barrel race. Turquoise Director, Sarah Kieckhefer has gotten Prescott to open their entries this year. Melanie Luark, Mountain States Director, has also reached an agreement with Cheyenne to drop their limits. Good job to those two directors! Let's hope more limited entry rodeos will follow these examples.
Thank you to all members who have submitted a rule proposal for 2014. We have received many proposals, and they will be given careful consideration by the Rules Committee and the Board. There is still time to get a proposal in before the May 15th deadline by visiting www.wpra.com or calling your director.
Have a winning May, and most of all, be safe!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, April 3, 2013
Thank you to all who voted in the current election! By casting your vote, you exercised your right to vote in the election of YOUR Association!! As the results showed us, this election was very close, thus making it clear that the Association is equally divided. Now, as your elected officers and directors, we have the awesome responsibility of finding common ground and leading this Association in the right direction. We have made great strides under the leadership of Jimmie Munroe, both financially and professionally. We all thank her for her dedication to the WPRA for all these years. Congratulations to the newly elected Board members, and welcome back to the past directors. I am looking forward to working with all of you, and our great office staff, for the betterment of the WPRA. I also look forward to continuing to improve our relationship with the PRCA, and of course, with our committees and sponsors. We are all in this great sport together!
In order to lead our Association forward, and pull together for one goal, I will do my best to improve the communication between the membership and the Board. Hopefully, the "Members Only" login page will become a reality in the near future. This would give us an avenue to inform the membership of the important issues at hand in a timely manner, and also gain feedback from them. By the time you are reading this column, the Board will have met in Colorado Springs, and decisions will have been made that will affect all of us. I will do my best to get the information on the outcome of this meeting out to the members as quickly as I can, but also feel free to contact me or your circuit director if you have questions or concerns.
It is very exciting to see the WPRA World Finals going back to Texas. Waco and their fabulous Extraco Events center should be a perfect match for our finals. The dates are set for October 23-27, so start making plans to attend. You'll be glad you did! It will be great to see all our ropers again, but I must say it won't be the same for me without the roughstock riders! At least this time, I won't be terrified like I used to every time Jan Youren got on a bareback horse!
By the time you receive this issue, many of you will be headed to California for the Silver Tour Rodeos. Hope the rains hold off so that everyone has dry ground. If you don't head to California, there are still lots of good rodeos in Texas including a WPRA Qualifying Tour Rodeo in Corpus Christi. Where ever you decide to go, good luck and be safe!
In closing, I would like to thank all of you who supported me in this election. Thank you for the confidence you have in me to be President once again. I promise to try to keep you informed, listen to your concerns, and do my best to do something about it! Please feel free to contact me any time.