By Doreen Wintermute
September 1, 2018
As we step into the month of September, it’s a step to the last month of the 2018 rodeo year! September is filled with many opportunities including another 58 rodeos for the top 15 to earn a spot at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. We have many WPRA Tour rodeos for you to earn a spot in the top 4 to qualify for some of the 2019 limited entry rodeos and there is the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Finale in Puyallup, Wash. With $20,000 committee equal money and an additional $42,500 in sponsor money it will be a nice end-of-the-year payout for our members.
Also we have over 140 events left in September that includes co-approvals, WPRA Junior races, Roping, and Futurity/ Derby sidepots. I can go on and on about September but just know it’s a month that will make many of you reach your goals and make dreams come true.
I would like to rewind a little before I go into what the 2019 year looks like for the WPRA. August was a special month for me, as I experienced the ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the second year with WPRA inductees. Words cannot describe how amazing each inductee’s story was that was told on the Chamber of Commerce day in Colorado Springs. Their stories took me back in time, from how they started, to watching their tears of joy, to standing at the podium as they were recognized for the many years of hard work they put into the sport they love so much. There was lots of laughter from many memories they shared along their journey. I just loved every minute of it. I was also inspired by the talented champion horse that was inducted named French Flash Hawk, aka Bozo. He changed many lives from Kristi Peterson to many families that purchased his siblings and offspring. There are many champions from his bloodlines, such as Frenchmans Guy who continues to produce many more talented horses today.
This is an example of what the WPRA sees in talent. We are honored to continue this bloodline with our stallion program call PESI (Pro Elite Sire Incentive) program. This is a program that showcases our equine partner’s talent and gives bonus money awards to the many horses nominated into this program. Before you decide who you want to breed your mares to this year, please go to the WPRA website to read about the best barrel racing stallions in this country and how they are recognized through our PESI program.
As I look to the future of the 2019 rodeo season, the first thing I look at is the largest event we call a kickoff for the new rodeo year and that is our WPRA World Finals, held in Waco, Texas, October 18 – 21. This is the ONLY event the WPRA owns. This event is made up of every part the WPRA represents. The WPRA World Finals features, a cardholder race in which money earned counts for the 2019 world standings and the opportunity to qualify for RodeoHouston in 2019! There is a permit race with money counting towards filling your permit to buy your WPRA card. 2018 World Champions will be crowned in the following WPRA divisions – Junior, Futurity/Derby and Roping. The newest element to this year’s event will be that the breakaway roping event will count as a qualifier for RFD-TV’s The American! We are growing every year with more opportunity for all members of the WPRA and the financial growth will only give back to you. Make your plans NOW!!! Don’t miss out!
I am so excited to announce we are partners with The American in the women’s breakaway roping! There will be more information to come. GREAT NEWS!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!! Get ready ladies to take your ropes out and if you aren’t a WPRA member you will be missing out. The WPRA breakaway roping will continue to be in many PRCA/WPRA rodeos throughout the country and in many co-approval events. The American is the largest event for the WPRA breakaway roping. This event will be at its highest level and the WPRA will continue to support and give the opportunity, every member asked for!!!
Good Luck to all!
August 1, 2018
Wow the month of July has been a huge game changer for most. Congratulations to Tammy Fischer for taking the top spot on the leaderboard over the Cowboy Christmas Rodeo run, winning over $29,000. Also, congrats to everyone that has changed their plans, earning the money to put them in the game.
I have been traveling to many rodeos throughout our great country and words cannot express the appreciation I have for all of you. The dedication, strong, independent, competitive women in the WPRA, tells me why we are considered the top Professional Association in this World. I am proud to be a part of the best, thanks to each one of you.
My experience has given me the opportunity to visit with the best committees in our sport and have had the chance to say “Thank You” for all they do. Just to name a few that I have had the pleasure of visiting with recently - Colorado Springs, CO, Sheridan, WY, Casper, WY., Cheyenne, WY, Vernal, UT, Nampa, ID, Salinas. CA, and Spanish Fork, UT. Their hospitality and efforts to make rodeo ground better and safe for everyone is amazing and truly appreciated. I also had time to visit with many judges that work so hard for all events in rodeo.
We had a great membership meeting at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs with many members that had great positive feedback for the betterment of the WPRA. I take great pride in sharing all the exciting programs, increase in membership, and all the positive changes, for the future of the WPRA. We also had a great membership meeting at the California Rodeo in Salinas! What makes me smile is the camaraderie with WPRA members, judges, and committees.
As most of you know the rules committee and the Board of Directors are working hard to review, and vote on all the rule proposals for the 2018 WPRA Rule book.
We have only a few months left for the 2018 rodeo and co-approval season and there is still multiple opportunities available for all. I wish all of you a safe and successful rest of the year!
The WPRA World Finals will be taking entries in August, so don’t forget this is a great kick off for the 2019 year.
July 1, 2018
As we are all feeling the heat of summer, the month of July is by far the hottest month for Professional Rodeo. July is the busiest month in the WPRA calendar. As most of you know July is a game changing month with standings changing a great deal from week to week. Most circuits are in full swing and the opportunities are numerous for every member of the WPRA, from the top level in rodeo to all our different programs including the Roping, WPRA Tour, Futurity& Derby, WPRA Juniors, PESI. The week around the Fourth of July is known as Cowboy Christmas but with the amount of money up for grabs all month it really becomes more like Cowboy Christmas month. With what the WPRA gives to you in opportunity, you can make your dreams come true!!!
I would like to share some of the exciting things that I have been working on. I have been in dialog with The American and we are so excited to introduce the WPRA breakaway roping discipline at The American. We will announce all details once it’s been finalized. We will also be discussing options regarding barrel racing and the WPRA Board will work through those opportunities.
I had an amazing visit at the Reno Rodeo with so many people in our industry. Thank you to George Combs and his team for the hospitality, it’s an exciting rodeo! I also had the opportunity to be a part of the ARC (Association of Rodeo Committees) meetings for two days. This is where rodeo committees get together to share different ideas on how to make rodeo better and what are some of the ways to do it different. I was so overwhelmed with the information that was shared from every committee, sponsor, TV media, and marketing person. It takes a village to put a rodeo on and there are some rodeos that rely mostly on volunteers. I cannot express enough that the level of what every rodeo committee does is HUGE. I was able to visit individually with most committees and we had great conversations regarding the future of this sport. The WPRA currently sanctions barrel racing and breakaway roping at PRCA ProRodeos and we are so grateful to be partners with the PRCA! The WPRA and PRCA have been working closely together on great things for the future of rodeo to enhance the sport we love so much. I will keep you posted as those things develop. I will be traveling to many rodeos in the coming months and hope to see you down the rodeo road.
Good luck to all and safe travels!
June 1, 2018
As we all know time just flies by and in a blink of an eye here we are in the month of June! There are some circuits that are winding down and some circuits that are just getting started. The month of June is a month for all members of the WPRA to make some exciting plans that will take them to a place they have been dreaming of. The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association provides opportunity in many ways. We have over 500 rodeos, and over 1,000 co-approvals, including the roping program, WPRA Junior program, and Futurity /Derby Program!!
Let me start by saying, I am excited about our women’s breakaway roping! It has been well received by many PRCA rodeo committees, contractors, judges and fans. This program has been a pilot program for the WPRA and I am excited to say we have been experiencing great membership growth! The Roping Director Patti McCutchen, the WPRA office team, and the roping committee has been doing a great job with developing a system that would allow the efficiency to give back to members, the opportunity to make their dreams come true! The vision and mission is to grow this program, to show the amazing talented women in the WPRA that can barrel race and then break out their rope horse for a little roping, or for some of you who have one horse that can do both, like you!!! Check out the cover story in this month’s WPRA News or visit www.wpra.com to learn more.
I would like to remind some of you that don’t already know for 2018 the WPRA PESI program has ventured into rodeos. It’s exciting and new for this season to offer PESI bonus money at PRCA/WPRA rodeos! You can read more about the PESI program in our WPRA magazine or on our website.
The WPRA Junior Program is the next generation for the sport of rodeo and barrel racing. There are many PRCA Rodeos that love to have the WPRA junior barrel racers as the crowd goes wild for these young cowgirls and their horses showcasing their talent and professionalism. We are very excited to give more opportunity for the junior program. The biggest and the best show is the WPRA World Finals. The WPRA junior event gives me the chills. As we continue to develop a better system, we are excited to take this program to the next level!
I am feeling extremely humble by saying the WPRA CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP Program has been so strong and continues to grow! We could not do it without all of you!! We value you! I want to reach out to each sponsor that believes in the WPRA and let you all know how we appreciate and thank you! Current WPRA Corporate Partners include: SANTA CRUZ, BRAZOS VALLEY EQUINE, SHEFIT, SOFT-RIDE, DISH NETWORK, TUSON RV AND TRAILER BRAKES, A.I.P. ENERGY, EXISS TRAILERS, MONTANA SILVERSMITHS, RESISTOL, YETI COOLERS, GOODYEAR TIRES, COOPER TIRES, NUTRENA FEED, BOOT BARN, CAVENDER’S, CIRCLE Y, DAMA WINES, DRAW IT OUT LINIMENT, FLAIR, HORSEWARE, PRIEFERT, PROFESSIONAL’S CHOICE, RAM, ROPESMART, THERAPLATE, VETOQUNINOL, WRANGLER WESTERN WEAR JEANS & SHIRTS.
I want to thank Dave Jordan and the team who works so hard to continue to grow this program with great pride and respect for the WPRA and our Corporate Partners.
These are the few programs that shape and design who and what the WPRA is and without all the hard work that gets put into each part of the WPRA, we wouldn’t be where we are today!!
With a grateful feeling, I am so proud to be a part of an amazing Association that represents the sport we all love!
May 1, 2018
May is a month to look back at the many great events that happened in April and to capture even more in the month ahead. The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo was awesome. I want to thank the committee for all their hospitality and support.
We recently joined with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in announcing the 2018 Inductee Class to ProRodeo Hall of Fame. We are so excited to have Billie McBride, Kristie Peterson and French Flash Hawk, aka Bozo, representing the WPRA in this year’s class. Make a plan to attend the inductions on Saturday, Aug. 4 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and to see all the exhibits displaying the history and talents of those in rodeo. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame should be on everyone’s bucket list.
I had a great trip to the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up and enjoyed visiting with James Miller the General Manager. I want to thank him for inviting me to be a part of this year’s event. The visit was very beneficial and they have a great crew that makes it happen year after year. The ground was great, the crowd was great, they had great food, the rodeo talent was top notch and it was just a great experience all the way around. A huge thanks to the committee for raking during barrel racing slack. While in Red Bluff, I had the opportunity to visit with members, committees, judges, and secretaries. I also had the opportunity to visit with the Clovis (Calif.), Canby (Ore.) and Reno (Nev.) Rodeo Committees. We are so fortunate to have such great rodeo committees like these across the United States providing opportunities for our members to chase their dreams.
As the WPRA continues to work hard to look for better ways to operate more efficiently at the direction of the Board of Directors, the Business Committee is meeting weekly. They are working on details and implementation plans to move the Association forward. As we continue to move, we will keep everyone informed. Please check-in with your circuit director if you have any questions. There is nothing better than working hard for an Association that is always on the rise.
In closing just a reminder that rule proposals are due to the office no later than May 14. This is a great way for you to help strengthen the WPRA organization.
May is also the month we get to celebrate our moms, so I am wishing all the moms out there a very special and Happy Mother’s Day!
March 1, 2018
February was a busy month of meetings with more to come in March. I am encouraged and excited about the future of our sport of rodeo. The National Finals Rodeo Committee (NFRC) meeting in San Antonio, Texas, was great. The NFRC works on many ways to improve rodeo, specifically the NFR. I want to thank Keith Martin and his wife, Tracy, for their awesome hospitality at the San Antonio Rodeo. They care so much for the sport of rodeo and it shows in San Antonio, with sold out performances and their contestant hospitality is top notch. They try very hard to do the best for everyone in our sport of rodeo.
I had the pleasure to meet the new PRCA CEO President George Taylor and his wife, Chris. It was a great visit and I look forward to working with George and his team at the PRCA to make rodeo better. I also had a great meeting with our WPRA Business Committee on the future vision of the WPRA. We are very excited about the health of our Association coming off the 2017 year with some inspiring numbers. Our membership is the highest in the history of the WPRA with well over 3,000 members and although the audit isn’t complete preliminary numbers are looking very positive. This is just a quick indication of how strong we are and how important it is for the WPRA officials and our office team to continue to work hard on keeping the engine running efficiently.
The WPRA Board of Directors will be meeting in Colorado Springs in March for three days to work on many topics. This is the part of my position, as a President, to work on the topics that grow each program. The WPRA is a strong and healthy Association and one of my goals is to provide the most transparent communication to every member of the WPRA that we can.
As we continue to make the most of our opportunities, we also hold our values and traditions that brought us to this point as we celebrate 70 years of Women in Rodeo in 2018. Over the next several months in the WPRA News we will recognize milestones and individuals that have brought us to where we are today. From the vision of the 38 women that met in San Angelo, Texas to form the Association in 1948 to our record number of over 3,000 members today, there is a lot to celebrate and be thankful for.
Congratulations to Sadye Simpson for winning the $5,000 bonus for being the best dressed barrel racer in the final round in Fort Worth and being honored with the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award. We thank the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum and Jerry Ann Taylor’s family for making this award possible in Fort Worth and the Wrangler NFR.
We are also approaching the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo and there are many of you planning to compete at an event where one can win over $33,000 that counts towards the world standings. Taking the top circuit champions and the average champions from each circuit, as well as top two from Mexico, makes this event different from any other rodeo in the world. Our circuit system is strong because of the many opportunities that are given throughout the year at all levels. At the end of the day, the best rise to the top and the RNCFR event showcases the talent of the PRCA/WPRA from across the country. Much thanks to Osceola County and the Kissimmee Rodeo Team for giving all our members the opportunity to be a part in making dreams come true!
Good Luck to ALL and Safe Travels!!!
February 1, 2018
I know I have probably said this before but I just can't believe how time just flies by. Here we are already in the second month of the 2018 year, but we are in the fifth month of the rodeo year. Wow, this train is moving fast.
There are many circuits in full swing with both rodeo and co-approval action. The opportunities the WPRA will be offering in 2018 is huge. Don't miss out!
As of the second week of January all the 2017 Circuit Finals Rodeos are in the books. All circuit champions and average champions have been crowned and have punched their tickets to run at the Ram National Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida. I want to congratulate the 24 qualifiers, plus two ladies from Mexico, that will have the opportunity to compete for $94,764, thanks to Osceola County, Florida. We are very excited to know that the committee for the Ram National Finals Rodeo has hired the grounds team that the Wrangler NFR has hired for the past two years. They are working on ground samples and we have the confidence that they will provide good safe ground for all events.
The All American ProRodeo Series consists of PRCA Rodeos with total purse of $30,000 or less. The top 30 in the standings as of Sept. 3, 2018 will qualify for the All American Finals, held in Waco, Texas in October right before the WPRA World Finals. Contestants receive one (1) point per dollar earned at each rodeo for the standings. Members must compete in a minimum of 30 All American ProRodeo Series Rodeos. This is a great series to pursue if you want to branch out of the circuit system but not ready to go full-time for the NFR. It is a great avenue to use to open more doors to help your dreams come true.
We are excited to welcome the new PRCA CEO George Taylor to our rodeo family! There is so much to look forward to and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with him.
The WPRA Business Committee will be meeting in our office in Colorado Springs this month to work on the future vision for the WPRA and the WPRA Board of Directors will be meeting, March 16- 18th also in the Colorado Springs office. Your office team, Board of Directors, President and Vice President work many hours to stay strong and keep the WPRA growth potential positive!
Reminder for those of you that have entered the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and hope to make the finals - be sure to wear your most outstanding outfits, as there will be another Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award of $5,000 to the Best Dressed Barrel Racer 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 in our sport of Rodeo.
Good Luck to all, safe traveling!!
January 1, 2018
The 2017 year has come to an end and what a year it was with so many things to be thankful for and celebrate.
I would like to wish all of you a healthy, and happy 2018 New Year. There is nothing better then coming off the December month celebrating the holidays and experiencing another awesome year in Las Vegas at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! We saw arena records, we had the leaderboard change every night, we had the best Top 15 show their talent, with the best equine athletes. Congratulations to Nellie Miller for taking the title as the 2017 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion. It was amazing to watch!!!
The most memorable moment I had was at the 2017 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Star Celebration. We had the largest turnout in the history of the WPRA with a count of over 600 attendees to come Celebrate the 2017 WPRA Top 15 qualified. Their Determination, Dedication, Professionalism, and hard work makes them the best in the World! I want to say thank you to all our sponsor and members as we had an amazing 2017 year and appears 2018 will be even bigger and better as long as we continue to work as a team to make this Association the best it can be. We are strong and we couldn’t gain strength without our sponsor partnership. As I had the opportunity to visit and see our rodeo committees, stock contractors, judges, secretaries, timers and every volunteer that puts their heart and souls into rodeo, I praise all of you - the PRCA/WPRA membership could not do what we love without any of you. It was so incredible to see everyone that attended the 2017 WPRA Star Celebration, I felt so Blessed to be a part of a great event.
I would also like to commend the Top 15 for competing for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award at the Wrangler NFR. I thought everyone helped bring lots of color and style to the event. A special congrats to the top three winners - Kimmie Wall, Tiany Schuster and Kathy Grimes. Great job ladies. Keep it up and don't forget to bring your bling to Fort Worth for another shot at the title.
The field for the 2018 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo will be set in mid-January after the conclusion of the Montana and First Frontier Circuit Finals. The Texas Circuit wrapped up their season on Dec. 30 crowning their average and year-end champion and two more punched their tickets to Kissimmee, Fla., in April.
Who will be next? Help us determine who the next WPRA inductees will be to earn enshrinement into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. We are currently taking applications for the 2018 inductees and nominations are due by Jan. 31. The forms can be found at www.wpra.com. Take a moment to send in your nominations to whom you think (individual or equine partner) has the history and success in rodeo that deserves this honor.
This is a very humbling time of year for me, as I rewind many memories, I feel so grateful to be the President of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association!