By Doreen Wintermute
March 1, 2019
We have had a very busy February with many Board of Directors and committee meetings that covered many topics. The WPRA Board of Directors work diligently to strategically plan for the future for the many programs available to our members. The roping committee got together to work on the breakaway growth in the PRCA/WPRA Rodeos. The DC program & junior committee is fine tuning the many events we have and recommending more consistency in the guidelines, as well as creating more opportunity for our members. Our rules committee will be meeting, to review and discuss the many rule proposals coming in for 2020 rule book. The business committee will be getting together to review our 2018 financials, as well as our 2019 budgets.
This is an exciting time in our sport. I attended the NFRC meeting in San Antonio in February to review the 2018 Wrangler NFR. The meeting was productive with lots of excitement around how great and successful the 2018 NFR was and plans for 2019. They mentioned how cooperative all the contestants were and how amazing the competition was last year. I let them know how appreciative we were on how consistent, fair and most of all safe the ground was for the WPRA Barrel Race. As a result, we were able to showcase our great human and equine athletes and continue to be a crowd favorite. A big thank you to everyone involved to make the Wrangler NFR such a world class event.
A special award that is only given at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and the Wrangler NFR that we truly cherish is the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award. I want to congratulate Stevi Hillman on being awarded the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed in Fort Worth and the $5,000 bonus that goes with the award. Many thanks to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Jerry Ann Taylor family for making this possible in Fort Worth and in Las Vegas.
I believe the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is what I call WOMEN STRONG IN RODEO!!! As we are coming into the month of March, we have many opportunities to be excited about:
- The American semifinals for the WPRA Breakaway Roping will be amazing and will be something to see how and who moves into the Finals March 3rd at AT&T Stadium.
- The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo that is held in Kissimmee, Florida is an event not to miss! There are 26 WPRA members planning to compete at this event where one can win over $33,000 that will count towards the world standings. Taking the top circuit champion and average winner from each circuit, as well as top 2 from Mexico, makes the event different from any rodeo in the World. Our circuit system is strong because of the many opportunities that are given throughout the PRCA/WPRA from across the country. Many thanks to Osceola County and the Kissimmee Rodeo Team for giving our members the opportunity to be part of such a great event to make their dreams come true!
- RodeoHouston will be the other big event in March. They have been a great partner through the years and looking forward to another great barrel race down there.
Good Luck to All and Safe Travels!
February 1, 2019
Although the 2019 rodeo season is in full swing, we just wrapped up 2018 with the conclusion of the Circuit Finals. Congratulations to the top 26 ladies that have punched their tickets to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo held in Kissimmee, Florida on March 21-24. Don’t forget to make your plans to come see the best year-end and average champions in the WPRA Circuit system! The barrel race will have a great mix of circuit members along with Wrangler NFR qualifiers. Visit www.rncfr.com for more information on this great event.
The start of 2019 brings WPRA Board of Directors elections along with it. This year the Vice Presidency is up for election along with Columbia River, First Frontier, Montana, Mountain States, Southeastern, Texas and Wilderness Circuits. It is important for members to participate and vote for what is in the Association’s best interest to continue its progress. Since 1948, every woman that has held office in the WPRA has impacted where it is today. Let’s continue this path and advance this sport forward!!!
Programs within the association are so important and by adding new pieces they are really flourishing.
The PESI committee has been hard at work creating new avenues for our members to take advantage of all this program has to offer! The introduction of a PESI payout at select rodeos has given owners of all enrolled offspring a chance to cash in from futurity horses all the way to the seasoned rodeo horse. The addition of a stallion service auction has allowed a greater variety of stallion owners to participate and created some exciting buzz about the program. PESI has great bonus money and allows both offspring and stallions to shine. You can learn more about the program and how you can participate on the WPRA website.
The Women’s Breakaway roping program has been very exciting!! We have been supporting a pilot program with Women’s Breakaway Roping in PRCA Rodeos, as well as co-approving with The American in 2019. Growing programs and creating more opportunities for our members to help make your dreams come true is what it’s all about!
Since the programs start 5 years ago, a total of 50 ground tests have taken place across the country. The WPRA, in partnership with Safe Arena Footing (SAF) has been able to educate rodeo committees on how to get the most out of their arena ground. Participating rodeo committees tested their ground, made any necessary changes and the results were awesome. Safe and consistent ground is a must in all events, not just barrel racing.
Just a reminder for those of you that entered the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and hope to make the finals- be sure to dress and shine for your chance to snag a $5,000 Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award in the final round. The WPRA thanks the Jerry Ann Taylor Foundation and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum for all their support in recognizing the importance of dressing up and showing the beauty of our Sport of Rodeo!
Good Luck to all, safe traveling!!!
January 1, 2019
Well the time has come as we ring in the New Year! As the 2018 year came to a close, we ended it with another amazing experience at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I can only say this was the best Wrangler NFR I have been apart of. This was the 60th year for the National Finals Rodeo. It’s a memory of the best PRCA/WPRA talented athletes in the world and the best stock of horses and bulls that showcases what rodeo is all about. I was thrilled by the WPRA Top 15 and their amazing horses. They made the hundreds of thousands of people roar with excitement as we all watched them compete at the highest level of barrel racing!
Congratulations to the WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel and her horse DM Sissy Hayday “Sister.” It was such a beautiful moment to watch Hailey step up to the stage to accept her saddle and gold buckle. It was so well deserved. Also, congratulations to first time Wrangler NFR Qualifier Carman Pozzobon for being crowned the average winner, being the only barrel racer with 10 clean runs was so awesome and a challenge for most seasoned veterans. We are proud to see another Wrangler NFR first time qualifier Jessica Routier take home the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award after being voted “The Best Dressed Cowgirl” by her peers. Jessica received a $5,000 check from the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame for the honor. There was another bonus given at the Wrangler NFR from the WPRA PESI program to DM Sissy Hayday (Hailey Kinsel) for $2,500 for winning the world and being part of the WPRA PESI program. For some of you that are not aware of this program, please go to the WPRA website to get all the information. This is a program that benefits all the outstanding stallions and their prodigies in the WPRA Rodeo and Futurity/Derby world. Don’t miss out!!
The last thing I want to recognize Shawn Davis and his staff that are responsible for the production and operation of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It’s bittersweet moments in the production meetings having to say Shawn Davis is retiring from the Wrangler NFR. His time, hard work, and dedication is what makes the Wrangler NFR magical. I really enjoyed working with Shawn for the three years I have been President and my admiration and respect for him is profound. Shawn has hired the best staff, and as most of us know it takes a village to put on the Super Bowl of Rodeo. The NFR Committee, PRCA team, Las Vegas Events, TV, Media, and the most amazing hard-working ground crew that made the ground safe and consistent for all events is to be thanked. My hat goes off to all of you for making the 2018 Wrangler NFR an outstanding event.
I continue to make memories with an event that the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is so proud of - the 2018 WPRA Star Celebration. As I stood on the stage, I was so enlightened by the amount of rodeo family we had to celebrate the WPRA Top 15 Wrangler NFR qualifiers. We had over 600 attendees this year! WOW!! The exciting awards given to the Top 15 were amazing. We honored the best in the business including committees, judges, contractors, secretaries, announcers and committees from each circuit with the Justin Best Footing award.
There is so much to be thankful for, as I rewind the 2018 year. The WPRA Sponsors, we couldn’t do it without all of you, our WPRA Office staff, all Circuit Directors, and every outside resource we depend on, thank you for completing another successful year for the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
We have four more Circuits Finals in January to crown their 2018 circuit champion and average winner to earn a spot in the 2019 Ram National Finals Rodeo held in Kissimmee, Florida in March. This is a mini-NFR for our grassroot competitors that have different jobs during the week and find the time to give it their all in rodeo and make their dreams come true. The Ram National Finals Rodeo will be held this year in conjunction with a Country Music Festival having the biggest and the best country singers we all love so dearly. Go to the RNCFR website for more information.
With lots of positive and proactive thinking, LETS ALL BRING IN A HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!