By Doreen Wintermute
December 1, 2017
We all know we are coming into a month that has lots of celebrations. December is a great month for those in the rodeo world that have two great celebrations to look forward to each year. The first is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo followed this year closely by the Holidays.
Congratulations to the Top 15 of the PRCA/WPRA that work hard all year to qualify. There is no better home for our "Super Bowl of Rodeo" than Las Vegas. When the Thomas and Mack is dressed for the NFR it brings a smile to my face and makes me appreciate what it means for our sport.
While our focus is on the Wrangler NFR, many of our members have already had some great celebrations at the circuit level. All but three circuits have held their finals and crowned both year-end and average champions. Those champions are now making plans to compete at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo held in Kissimmee, Fla. Congratulations to those that are making those plans and good luck to those still left to compete.
Although the WPRA sanctions over 1,000 events there is only one we truly call our own and that is the WPRA World Finals. The event allows us to showcase all of our programs and crown our World Champions in the roping division, futurity/derby division and junior division. For the last several years we have called Waco, Texas, home and it has been a great home for us. It was so exciting to see the increase in entries this year and I had a great time visiting with many members and our amazing Sponsors including several new ones.
The awards packages were top notch, the money up for grabs was very enticing, but most of all the camaraderie was off the charts. We had an amazing giveaway during our Saturday night performance that included a chance to win an Exiss Trailer, Wrangler NFR trip, Cooper Tires, a Theraplate and much more. We introduced a new team concept bringing the ropers and barrel racers together, while highlighting some of our great rodeo partners. I want to thank our rodeo partners who helped us make the team event a reality - RodeoHouston, Calgary Stampede, Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City. We appreciate your support of the WPRA and our World Finals!
We wouldn't be able to pull off such a fantastic event if it wasn't for a team that includes our sponsors, our directors, our office staff, TC Long and his staff and the staff at Extraco Event Center in Waco. We couldn’t do it without all of you who put your hands and hearts into a sport we all love.
I am so proud to share the success we are having! The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association has hit a high in the history of membership. We are over 3,000 members and staying strong! The WPRA growth is also in the opportunity we give back. Our rodeos are up, close to 600, our co-approvals that includes all programs are over 1,000 events around the country. As we come into our 2018 rodeo year, we have plans to continue to stay strong and take every opportunity with our vision to stay on the upward path.
This has truly been an historic year for the WPRA. Speaking of history, I want to remind everyone that we are currently taking applications for the 2018 inductee class for the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. Nominations are due by Jan. 31 and can be found at www.wpra.com. Take a moment to send in your nominations to whom you think has the history and success in rodeo that deserves this honor.
This is the time of year we should show our appreciation for what we have and for how grateful we can be to have the opportunity to do what we love to do!
This is the month to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!! SAFE TRAVELS!!
November 1, 2017
As November brings us to an exciting time, I am amazed at the many different ways to look at all that is going on in the WPRA.
As the 2017 WPRA regular season has ended, the 2018 WPRA year is already underway. The 2017 WPRA year saw several records set and six ladies qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time in their career. This is such an exciting time for the top 15 whether they are making plans for their first trip down the alley at the T&M or if they are making plans for their 11th NFR appearance like Lisa Lockhart and Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi. The NFR is shaping up to be another exciting one with a great mix of newcomers and returnees, all of which are looking to add to their resumes and continue to add to the legacy of the WPRA.
We all feel the heavy hearts for the victims and their families of the shooting in Las Vegas. However Las Vegas has the most amazing Strength, Passion, Security and the unity that brings us all together. The Thomas and Mack has a NFR clear bag policy in effect for all 10 performances this year to enhance security and efficiency entering the arena. Fans and rodeo families are limited to one clear bag per person or one small clutch for personal items. Don’t forget to buy your tickets to come see the best athletes, and their equine partners in the World of Rodeo. VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!
While most of the attention this time of the year is on the Wrangler NFR, there are great competitions going on at the circuit level with each of the 12 circuits conducting their circuit finals. The Turquoise and Badlands Circuit kicked off the 2017 Circuit Championship season, that will run through January with First Frontier and Montana bringing 2017 to an official close. Congratulations to those who have already punched their ticket to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo and good luck to all those still scheduled to compete over the next couple of months.
I am continually impressed and amazed to see how your circuit director and circuit finals qualifiers come together with the most amazing awards. Ladies take a moment to show your appreciation for the hard work your circuit director does for you!!!
Like I said, the fun and opportunities never stop with the 2018 season already underway. One opportunity I always like to remind our members about is the PESI Program. It’s that time for breeding in our world of barrel racing and the WPRA PESI program can get you great rewards in many ways. If you don’t already know about the PESI program you will be very surprised how awesome it can be for you. Visit www.wpra.com for all the information you need.
As the calendar turns to November, it is a good time to reflect on all we are thankful for but also see all the good things that inspire us! The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is the best in the World and will continue to give you the opportunity to be the best you can be in the World.
Good Luck to All!!
October 1, 2017
I would like to start out by saying we are at a big turning point in many ways. The September 30th date is very important and exciting in the world of rodeo as it brings to close the end of the regular rodeo season. This is the time we learn who has qualified for the Wrangler NFR and which members will be making plans for their RAM Circuit Finals.
It is also a time that determines top 12 for the WPRA Divisional Circuit events from Coast to Coast. For those looking to fill their permits please be aware of the special circuit permit races that are featured at the DC Circuit Finals. Just a reminder to contact your circuit director for more information on all the member opportunities available at the circuit level.
With the end of another season, I would like to say "Thank You" to all the committees, contractors, judges, secretaries, timers, all the rodeo families that make Rodeo happen and give all the members of the WPRA the opportunity to make their dreams come true. Each year the WPRA recognizes those in the rodeo industry that have gone above and beyond with the WPRA Contract Awards. A list of the winners can be found in this magazine and I congratulate all the recipients that will be formally recognized on Dec. 7 at our Star Celebration in Las Vegas. It was a great 2017 rodeo season!
As we close out one rodeo season, we embark on the next one. October 1st starts the 2018 rodeo season and there are many rodeos, and co-approvals on the schedule including the cardholder race at the WPRA World Finals that counts toward 2018 world standings. The WPRA World Finals, is the only event the WPRA owns and the event offers lots of money. Every WPRA program is featured and gives you the opportunity to shine. We have two arenas running, with great ground, offering Roping, Futurity/Derby, Juniors, 5D, Card Race, and the Permit Race. It is an event you don't want to miss.
As we begin the new year a friendly reminder to pay close attention to Rule 1.3.4. Membership Renewal. You will be able to enter on your 2017 membership card or permit until December 31st. However, do not forget to buy your 2018 card before December 31st because if you have won any money from October 1 - December 31 and you do not buy your Card or Permit by the deadline all money won will be forfeited.
In closing, I would just like to acknowledge the amazing Officials, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, your Circuit Directors, office staff, and contract personnel, that work so very hard for all members of the WPRA. This is the time when we can rewind the 2017 year and most of all this is the time to show your appreciation.
The WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL RODEO ASSOCIATION IS THE BEST AND THE TOP IN THE WORLD!!!
I can only say for myself it’s an honor to be your President.
September 1, 2017
Wow - what an historical month it has been for the Women's Professional Rodeo Association. From seeing three ladies receive gold, silver and bronze medals at the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo for the first time at a regular season rodeo to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Inductions, it has been a great month for ProRodeo.
A huge congratulations goes to Dan Shaw and Tommy Joe Lucia on the success of the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City. What a beautiful facility they built and the ground was amazing. A thanks to all those that saw the WPRA Qualifier come to fruition and to see Hailey Kinsel and Kelly Tovar, use the opportunity to be the last two in but finish 1-2 in the finals was magical. It couldn't have been scripted any better. Another reminder how important it is to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you by the Association that can be life changing.
I will forever remember August 5, 2017 as the day we all experienced the ladies of the WPRA being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. It is such an honor to be part of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and seeing it become a reality. With this historic day, I look back on other monumental times in the WPRA legacy and can't help but feel honored to have played a role in this moment. From the 38 women who founded the Girls Rodeo Association that is now the Women's Professional Rodeo Association, to Florence Youree's work on getting the barrel racing as part of the other events at the National Finals Rodeo, to Jimmie Munroe's role in getting equal money for the barrel racers, it has truly been a team effort to bring the Association to where it is today.
When I was considering putting my name in the hat for WPRA President, one of my goals was to have the barrel racers recognized in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. My thoughts have only been, It's About the Sport of Rodeo, and what better place to showcase the PRCA and WPRA, the top Associations together as partners in Rodeo, than in the Hall of Fame. I couldn't have done this without the help and support of PRCA Board member and dear friend Troy Weekley and the willingness of PRCA Chairman Keith Martin, PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman, PRCA COO Aaron Enget, the entire PRCA Board of Directors and ProRodeo Hall of Fame Director Kent Sturman in getting behind the process to make this all a reality. This is about rodeo history and the PRCA and WPRA are great partners in Rodeo.
My emotions of the day became so real when I listened to the story of each and every inductee. Their words on how they got there was with such humility and heart. Many tears of joy, loud applauses and standing ovations were heard and seen throughout the weekend. Thanks to Kent Sturman and his team for making this event so memorable and beautiful and to Janet Cropper and Ann Bleiker for their hard work behind the scenes. Also many thanks to the PRCA/WPRA ProRodeo Hall of Fame committees that put the Class of 2017 inductees into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
I would like to thank the Salinas Rodeo for welcoming the WPRA to host a general membership meeting, which was very well attended. I was very happy to share what is going on currently in the WPRA and how we are forecasting the future of our Association. It felt very well received because there wasn’t many questions asked. It was great to see many of you I haven’t seen in a while and also it was nice to see and meet many new faces. I know it was a very productive meeting, when everyone clapped at the end and visited together when it was over. I hope to get to many more in the future. Thank you to the California Director Stacey Freitas for planning and organizing this meeting.
The good news is the rules committee got together week after week and put many hours into each and every Rule Proposal that was submitted and with much dialog they came to conclusions. It was all reviewed, voted on and completed at our last Board of Directors meeting on August 15th. I would like to point out to every member that your Board of Directors work very hard and long hours making good decisions for the betterment of the WPRA, they are very much appreciated. The final decisions can be found in this issue.
This will be the final month of the 2017 regular season rodeos and it is appearing it will be a race to the end for the Top 15. I look forward to seeing the final list, that appears will include many new faces to the Wrangler NFR, which is very exciting. As one season comes to a close, I would like to encourage each of you to consider entering the WPRA World Finals in Waco in October. There are many opportunities for our members from the Junior division, Futurity/Derby, Roping, Permits and Card holding members. The $7,500 permit only race is a great way for new members to fill their permit in one race and become a card carrying member. The $15,000 Card Holder Race is a great event to get a jump start on the 2018 season with all money counting toward the world standings. No. 1 ranked Tiany Schuster's historic run in 2017 was fueled by this race winning over $8,000 at last year's event. So take a look at the ads in this issue and visit www.wpra.com for more information and really consider making the trip to Waco, Oct. 19-22.
This is your time to make those dreams come true!
August 1, 2017
The reality has set in for 2017, we are two months away from the end of this rodeo year. While August is here, I know that many of you had set aggressive goals for July. I hope you were not disappointed, July was an amazing month, with lots of opportunity. There were 30 plus rodeos each weekend to choose from, with the July 4th weekend being the high point. With so many opportunities available and the stakes so high, entering takes a smart game plan.
So be mindful and consider:
* Are there certain rodeos where your horse performs better
*Are their formats that better suit you and your horse?
*Can I enter multiple rodeos and not be conflicted?
*Am I sure that I can get there? Turning out can be expensive-- entry fees and fines, can add up .
These are just a few things to think about.
And while you are at it, consider that it is always good to talk with your colleagues who have been down this road before: they have the experience and insight that can help you out. Helping each other onthe road brings us together. Remember dreams can become a reality and reality can create great memories.
There is nothing better then becoming the big money winner and that is especially true during Cowboy Christmas . I am happy to congratulate Brittney Pozzi-Tonozzi. Brittany won over $20,000 at nine rodeos from June 26 - July 4th WOW!! Brittany is someone that is definitely making her dreams come true.
Also part of the July experience is competing at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo. I had an opportunity to go there this year, watch our members compete and sit in on their production meetings. I got to visit with their committee members and learn what it takes to put on one of the biggest and the best rodeos in the world. And for those who watched the action on the Wrangler Network, was that ground just great? It was great for the barrel race and great for the rodeo. I want to thank John Rule and the entire CSR committee for their outstanding efforts. Yes, a special thanks to Kynan Vine and his team, who delivered the most amazing ground conditions. To Barry McGrath, Robert Wise, and every Committee member that I had an opportunity to meet thank you for your hospitality.
To all the qualifiers and money winners that had the opportunity to compete at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, you made us proud. The competition was great watching, you are beautiful women and what amazing equine partners you have. Congrats to Tiany Schuster who won the big paycheck and set a new regular season earnings record. What an outstanding year she is having and is proving it is beneficial to take advantage of all the opportunities afforded to WPRA members.
While letters WPRA is an acronym for the WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL RODEO ASSOCIATION. Let me share another meaning:
W- WINNING: winning is not only about winning 1st place, winning is about achieving your own goals. The WPRA provides you with those opportunities for your dreams to come true.
P- PERMITS: A WPRA permit member has many opportunities to win a $1,000 towards becoming a WPRA Card Holder. Permit members can enter all rodeo’s that accept permits and can compete at over 1,000 WPRA Divisional Circuit Co- Approved events. So ladies over age 18 years of age, there are plenty of opportunities to start making your dream come true.
R- ROOKIE: A Rookie year only comes once. It is special. It is your First Year and the ONLY YEAR to experience running for the WPRA ROOKIE Title. This too is an experience that can make many dreams come true.
A- ATITUDE: A positive attitude is a sign of a true professional. I encourage all of you to be the professionals that you are or strive to be. Please remember to show your appreciation to everyone at all rodeos and co-approved events. As competitors, we all have good days and bad days. On those hopefully few bad days, be mindful to still be professional and stay positive. Positive energy creates good things; negative energy brings you down. With a good attitude, you can mean what you say, but not say it mean! A good Professional Attitude can make you a winner in every way! Create your dreams with a good attitude it will come true!
In early August, the WPRA will have the first induction of WPRA members and an equine partner entering the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. What a monumental event in our history and what an amazing place to show that we truly are an important part of professional rodeo. This is something not to miss!
Ladies, this is your time. There are a few months left to this rodeo year. Create your dreams. Be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities that the WPRA gives you. Good Luck to all.
July 1, 2017
As we come into July, I feel it’s the most exciting month of the year! The week surrounding the Fourth of July has become known as Cowboy Christmas in the world of rodeo, but I feel it is actually the whole month of July because of the magnitude of rodeos, the number of rodeos scheduled and the amount of money to be won. This month will be a game changer in the WPRA World Standings. This is also a month with many challenges like entering rodeos that are on top of each other, rodeos that are hard to get to in time, and much more. I do know some of you understand and know how to enter to make the most of your opportunities, but there are many of you who are challenged by the first time experience of the July run. Get together with each other, call your circuit directors, ask questions but most of all READ YOUR RULE BOOK ,it will help guide you to avoid any surprises.
The month of July is busy for me too, I will be traveling to the Calgary Stampede, July 5-9. Then headed to Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo for a general membership meeting scheduled for July 17th after slack, from there I am headed to Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 18th for the Days of '47 Rodeo for the WPRA Qualifier, then onto Salinas, Calif., for a general membership meeting on July 21st after slack. I look forward to meeting you all at these rodeos.
I would like to share, it’s also the time of year that the rule proposals are in for 2018 and are being discussed by your Board of Directors. I would like to thank all of you who took the time to send in your thoughts on what you feel will make your Association better! As a standard process, every rule is discussed thoroughly by the rules committee that is made up of five directors, Vice President, President, Chief Operating Officer, one office staff, and our attorney. After this committee reviews and looks at each proposal thoroughly, their recommendations go in front of the entire Board of Directors for a vote.
Entries for the 2017 WPRA World Finals are now open and I strongly encourage you to consider entering and participating in this great event that offers many opportunities for WPRA members, as well as non-members. More information can be found in this issue of the WPRA News and on www.wpra.com.
I would like to point out to all of you that your office staff and circuit directors are in full swing working hard for you, so take a moment out of your day to appreciate them and let them know with a Thank You.
Best of luck to all of you at all the amazing rodeos that you have the opportunity to enter and keep in mind how fortunate we are to do what we love!
June 1, 2017
Time flies when you are having fun. Here we are in the ninth month of the 2017 rodeo calendar with some circuit's winding down in the number of rodeos and WPRA co-approvals, while other circuits are just getting started. The months ahead are some of the most exciting in our rodeo season.
The WPRA office staff works many hours to keep the operations running smoothly and it is a blessing to have a great team that works hard behind the scenes for all of us. Be sure to treat them with respect when calling into the office.
I know most of you have read on the WPRA website or have heard the news of the exciting opportunities on the horizon for WPRA members and rodeo as a whole. The WPRA Board of Directors works hard to strive for fairness, and safety in all arenas. Our most recent topic of discussion has been on the new and exciting $1 Million Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City, Utah. This rodeo is unique to our rodeo world as we know it, but a possible glimpse into the future. It’s so exciting to see newness and to work with a rodeo committee that wants to give all of you the opportunity to make your dreams come true!!!
The most exciting part of the Days of '47 Rodeo is while it is a limited entry rodeo, there is a way for any member to qualify. It is open to all WPRA card holding members, year-end circuit champions, our rookie leader and YES it has a QUALIFIER!! This is what makes this rodeo different and fair for all. Now is the time to make your plans and take advantage of this opportunity to qualify yourself a spot to compete at the Days of '47 for $125,000 in the barrel race alone. Please go to the WPRA website and read all about what makes this rodeo unique. Mark your calendars and make your plans to be there. NEVER GIVE UP !!
The WPRA Board of Directors worked hard to reach their goals for you on this event and I am proud to say that goal was accomplished. The members have been asking for these types of opportunities and your Board has made it their mission to provide. We will strive to have more limited entry rodeos that give opportunity like this one in the future.
Although the 2017 rodeo and WPRA barrel racing is more than halfway over it is never too late to start especially with all the rodeos during the summer months. This is the perfect time to get your WPRA permit and start earning money towards the $1,000 that it takes to fill your permit. The WPRA is currently offering more money and avenues to fill your permit than ever before. There are permit races in many circuits, rodeos, co-approvals and at 4D barrel races. In addition, there is a permit only race at the WPRA World Finals in October. We know this is a tough sport for you and your equine partner, so we are trying to provide opportunities to get your foot in the door. This is the perfect time of year to win that $1,000, so you can begin the 2018 season as a Rookie. One's rookie season in the WPRA is always an exciting one but it only happens one time and it’s up to you to take advantage of all the opportunities the WPRA has to offer.
The one letter and definition of the letter I love to share is P for Professionalism!
Professionalism starts with us inside.
Professionalism portrays ATTITUDE.
Professionalism is respect for each other .
Professionalism is learning the WPRA rule book, (rule’s are a part of our profession).
Professionalism is appreciation.
Professionalism is our beauty inside and outside.
The WOMENS PROFESSIONAL RODEO ASSOCIATION gives you all the opportunity and encourages all of you to shine as a professional and you will make your dreams come true!!!
May 1, 2017
May is a wonderful month for us to celebrate all our mother's and ladies that are important in our lives. We are blessed in our sport to have the opportunity to compete alongside our mother's like April and Tanagai Zilverberg that is featured in this issue. We have several mother/daughter duos in our roping division and in our barrel racing division, which is just so special to see. I wish each and every one of you a Happy Mother's Day!
As the saying goes "Mother Knows Best." I would like to offer some motherly advice to all the members about valuable opportunities afforded them through the WPRA. This month, I would like to highlight the WPRA Tour.
This tour is unique to the WPRA and consists of 65 rodeos - 5 from each circuit and Canada. The majority of the rodeos are one round rodeos but a few are multiple rounds. If the rodeo has multiple rounds like Guymon, Okla., the points are awarded based on the average payout. There is no minimum or maximum number of rodeos that one must compete in. Points are based and will count from your best 7 results and these standings are used for some very big limited entry rodeos like San Antonio, Houston, Reno, Prescott and Calgary to name a few. Four ladies from the 2016 WPRA Tour earned a spot in this year's Calgary Stampede. So if you want to compete in Calgary next year but don't want to be on the road full-time chasing the Wrangler NFR, then focus on the WPRA Tour rodeos and set a goal to be in the top 4 of the WPRA Tour standings to earn a spot. A full list of WPRA Tour rodeos can be found at www.wpra.com, so think about making those a priority this summer.
We had a very successful spring board meeting in Colorado Springs at the end of March. We welcomed two new directors - Stacy Freitas from California and Toni Karre from the Turquoise Circuit. During our time in Colorado Springs, we all had the honor of participating in the ribbon cutting for the new WPRA display in the 101 Gallery of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. This display will remain up until Sept. 1. The display walks visitors through the history of our Association, the evolution of clothing that has been on display in the arena through the years, some beautiful bronzes and a tribute to our equine partners in the Horsepower section. If you are in the Colorado Springs area, I would strongly suggest you stopping by and checking it out.
The display is in anticipation of the 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction class that will include barrel racers for the first time ever. I would like to thank our committee for choosing a very solid class that includes 32-time World Champion Wanda Bush, 11-time World Champion Charmayne James and Star Plaudit "Red," who carried Sherry Combs Johnson and Tom Nesmith to world titles in barrel racing and steer wrestling, respectively, in 1962. We invite all those that can join us on August 5 at 10 a.m. at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for this historical milestone. More information will be available through the WPRA News, the WPRA website and our social media channels.
I am excited to announce our partnership with the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo coming July 19-22, 24 in Salt Lake City. The board has approved this $1 million rodeo that will count toward world standings, so be sure to read the information in this issue on how to qualify. There is truly a path for any member to qualify to compete at this Gold Medal Standard Rodeo. Whether it be through the world standings, rookie standings, circuit standings or by competing in the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo Trial events or through the WPRA Qualifier in West Jordan, Utah, on July 16, there is an opportunity for everyone. For the latest information visit www.wpra.com or www.Daysof47CowboyGames.com.
So in closing I would just say pay attention to the opportunities afforded to each member through the WPRA and ask questions to learn more. Ask your circuit director, call the office or call me. We are here to help.
Safe Travels and God Bless,
April 1, 2017
This past month has been a tough one in the rodeo industry saying goodbye to rodeo legends and champions in our sport. The barrel racing world lost two of their own with 2013 WPRA Futurity World Champion Lacey Kuschel the end of February and then two-time Wrangler NFR qualifier and three-time RodeoHouston Barrel Racing Champion Nancy Hunter, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer, on March 12. A day later the rodeo world learned of the passing of PRCA stock contractor Harry Vold. This happened just a little over a week after we got the news of the passing of PRCA announcer Hadley Barrett. Barrett had been quoted as saying, "I think the rookie is just as important as the champion, I think the livestock is just as important as the cowboy, and I think if we didn't have the fans, none of it would mean anything."
Those are some great words for all of us to remember as we travel down the rodeo road. We must continue to build everyone up and respect those that work hard to make this sport as fair and safe as they can. This includes the Pro Officials.
Since becoming the President of the WPRA, I have had the pleasure to attend some of the PRCA Judges Seminars and visit with the Pro Officials about the barrel racing. As a result, they seem to be more observant and aware of the issues and concerns that they need to focus on in regards to the barrel racing. Some of this includes ground conditions, equipment, rules and overall safety of horse and rider. One thing we have discussed and something that all members need to remember when it comes to the rule Ready When Called Upon, that whether you are up in slack or a performance, the time between riders does not change. So don't think because you are in slack you can take longer to go as that is not true. Slack and a performance need to be treated equally.
In addition to the Pro Officials, I would like to take time to recognize the rodeo secretaries and timers for all they do for the barrel race and our members. These ladies play a very important role in our event and we appreciate their hard work and professionalism to make our event accurate and fair.
We have been working on the WPRA exhibit for the ProRodeo Hall of Fame that will be up in their front gallery from the first of April through the induction ceremony in August. So next month, I will share with you the finished exhibit as well as the names of those that have been selected for our inaugural induction. This is an exciting time for the WPRA and if you are in the Colorado Springs area be sure to stop in and see our friends at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. For those wanting to attend the induction ceremony the Gala is on Friday night, August 4 and the induction will be at 10 a.m. (MT) on Saturday, August 5. More information will be posted on wpra.com.
Good luck to the ladies that will be competing at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. The barrel racing should be fast and exciting with the talented field that will be competing. I am excited to see and visit with our competitors from the Mexico Circuit as this will be their first time competing at the RNCFR.
Stay safe on the roads.
March 1, 2017
My theme for March is Make the Most of Your Opportunities.
I would like to give a shout out to No. 1 ranked Tiany Schuster for doing just that. In October, she had won over $11,000 prior to the WPRA World Finals and added another $7,000-plus to her 2017 earnings with the WPRA Card Holder race. As of Feb. 27, she has garnered over $68,500 in earnings, an amazing amount at this time of the season.
I have been in several meetings this past month and the future of barrel racing is BRIGHT! We are all in this together and while barrel racing is referred to as an individual event, it truly is a team effort from the top down.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just getting involved in the WPRA, I want to remind you of important tools that are beneficial to your success. The most important is the WPRA rulebook. In addition, the WPRA website and your circuit directors are great sources of information, as is the camaraderie of friends and family that can help you learn how to go down the Rodeo Road. Take advantage of these resources to make your dreams come true.
As we make the most of our opportunities, we also hold dear the values and traditions that brought us to this point. Nothing shows this more than the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award, which is awarded twice each year in Fort Worth, Texas, and in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Wrangler NFR. Congrats to Kathy Grimes, who brought her Bling to Fort Worth and was rewarded with a $5,000 bonus. A heartfelt thanks to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Taylor family and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo for making this award possible and for all the ladies that brought their Bling to Fort Worth. Job well done!
Plans are underway for the 2017 Wrangler NFR and we had a very successful NFRC meeting in San Antonio. I would like to thank Keith Martin for his hospitality, it was amazing! Shawn Davis , Las Vegas Events and the PRCA, are the best of the best in rodeo and it was so great to hear how they are working hard to make 2017 NFR the best one yet!
As we are approaching the RNCFR ,there are many of you making plans to compete at an event that you can win over $33,500 to count towards your world standings for the first time ever. Taking the top circuit champion and the average winner from each circuit as well as the top two from Mexico, makes this event a one-of-a-kind. Our Circuit System is getting stronger and stronger because of the opportunities that are given throughout the year at all levels! Much thanks to Osceola County and the Kissimmee Rodeo Team for giving our members the opportunity to be a part in making many dreams come true.
An exciting new opportunity is coming to the sport of rodeo in July known as the Days of '47 Cowboy Games. I feel blessed to be a part of a team in working on making this a great opportunity for WPRA members. We are in the process of finalizing all parts of this Rodeo and I can only say it is one of the Largest Rodeo’s Nationwide. This is the future of Rodeo and all WPRA members will have the opportunity to be a part of it too. Keep an eye on the WPRA website and the WPRA News for more details as they get finalized!!!
The WPRA Board of Directors will be meeting March 31-April 1 in Colorado Springs for our spring meeting. Be sure to communicate with your circuit directors, so they can bring your concerns and great experiences to this meeting.
Good Luck to all
February 1, 2017
The more I reflect on this great Association that we get to be involved in, the more I realize how many great programs and opportunities we have for members. We get so wrapped up in our own little worlds and sometimes we miss the opportunities that are right under our noses.
One of these is the Pro Elite Sire Incentive Program (PESI). In 2016, the program allocated $76,000 for PESI Bonus Money Events. It is a great team program that rewards the stallion owners, the breeders and the horse owners. As a stallion owner, you enroll your stallion into the program and pay the annual fee. As the owner of an offspring of a stallion enrolled in the program you also pay a fee, then you competed at events where the bonus money is available like the Wrangler NFR or the Circuit Finals and you reap the rewards.
For instance there were three ladies in the Top 15 that not only left Las Vegas with the money won in the arena but they added bonus money to their bank accounts through the PESI program. Amberleigh Moore cashed in the most as the owner of CP Dark Moon adding $4,200. The stallion owners of Darkelly are Conrado and Mikkleson and they received a check for $1,600, easily making back their annual fee to the program and this was at only one of the 10 events, plus the Wrangler NFR, 12 Circuit Finals and the WPRA World Finals that paid a bonus back in 2016.
Speaking of getting involved we need everyone reading this - members, fans, rodeo committees, stock contractors, rodeo personnel, etc. - to consider being a part of WPRA history. As we announced in December at the Wrangler NFR starting in 2017, the WPRA will begin inducting members into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. Therefore, we need your help in nominating WPRA members that are deserving of this honor. To make it easy for you we have included the Barrel Racer Honoree Nomination Form in this issue or it is also available online (www.wpra.com) for you to print out. All forms must be mailed and received in the WPRA office no later than Feb. 24, 2017.
Please take some time to consider the importance of this inaugural event and submit a nomination. There are two items to remember when making a nomination. First, you may submit more than 1 nomination and second it is really important to provide details regarding the nominee’s contribution and their significance to the sport of barrel racing.
Finally before I close this month, I wanted to remind all members of one more opportunity to take advantage of in 2017 that can really help open other doors as each of you strive to reach your rodeo goals. It is the 2017 WPRA Tour. The Tour is made up of a total of 65 rodeos/events across the United States (five from each circuit and Canada). The rodeos selected are either one round or multiple rounds. If it is a multiple round rodeo then points are allocated based on the average results only. Limited entry rodeos are not part of this program, so these are events that are open to all members.
The WPRA Tour Standings are used at many approved limited entry rodeos and your circuit directors and board strongly encourages all limited entry rodeos to include the WPRA Tour Standings as one of their qualifiers. By doing this it provides an opportunity for a wider range of our members to participate and possibly gain entry to a limited entry rodeo like the Calgary Stampede and RodeoHouston.
So as you plan your 2017 rodeo schedule don't forget to pay attention to the rodeos that are part of the WPRA Tour as it could be the catalyst you need to make a run at the Wrangler NFR.
Safe travels to everyone during this winter run and God Bless.
January 1, 2017
As we come to the end of the 2016 year, all I can say is what a great ending with the best Wrangler National Finals Rodeo experience, I could have ever imagined.
Words cannot express how thankful I am to Shawn Davis and his team for all the time and effort that was put into every part of what makes this a great event and truly the "Super Bowl" of Rodeo. The most amazing talent was shown in every PRCA event and the WPRA top 15 and their horses in the world!!!!
Congratulations to Mary Burger and Sadiesfamouslastwords (Mo) for a truly phenomenal year and what a great and humble world champion she will be. My hats off to Amberleigh Moore for earning enough at the Wrangler NFR to move from 15th in the world to reserve champion.
I am so proud to say the WPRA and PRCA have been working as partners on building the many bridges to make rodeo better. As most of you heard or read the announcement released at the Wrangler NFR by PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman, the WPRA will be a part of the ProRodeo Hall Of Fame starting in 2017 (full release in the In the News section in this issue). This decision was a natural extension of our relationship with the PRCA and a great way to honor and recognize rodeo greats in every event under one roof. Make plans now to attend the annual Hall of Fame inductions on the first weekend of August to be part of this historic milestone between the PRCA and WPRA.
One of the most memorable events of the 2016 Wrangler NFR is the WPRA Star Celebration. It is an event that honors the Top 15 for their achievements, and awards them with many amazing gifts from our partners that include saddles, Tao Tao Scooters, horse cooler blankets and much, much more. The WPRA Star Celebration Luncheon brings many wonderful generations of people together that put the care and love into Rodeo. The event wouldn't be possible without our WPRA office team that works diligently to make these memories special, and all of the WPRA Circuit Directors. Besides celebrating the Top 15 it is the WPRA's chance to honor the true backbone of our business with our Rodeo Committee’s, Contractors, Contract Personnel, Volunteers, and our Sponsors. As they say, “it takes a village”!!!
As we swing into the new year, we have three more Circuit Finals left in the 2016 season to crown their Circuit and Average Champion that will earn a spot to compete at the Ram National Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida.
Plan your 2017 year, it’s here with much opportunity to make your Dreams come true!!!
Good Luck to all