•5/20/13Gladewater, TX- Mis-print of E/C date. To enter you must call the WPRA office only (not Procom) and enter by Wednesday, 5/22 before 11:00 AM MT.
•5/16/13MEDFORD, WI 6/7 - 6/8/13
rodeo, slack changed to June 8 8:00am. •5/16/13POWELL BUTTE, OR 5/21/13
co-approved barrel race, approved.
AZ 7/3 - 7/5/13 rodeo, slack will be: July
2 8:00am; July 5 8:00am. •5/8/13
Agenda for the
5/14 Board of Directors meeting has been posted .read
more •5/8/13LICKING, MO 5/30/2013
- 6/1/2013 rodeo, co-approved with Southeastern
REDDING, CA 5/15/2013
- 5/17/2013 rodeo, slack is Tuesday May 14 8:00pm.
Important Messages Archive
The WPRA deeply appreciates our donors in the Saddle Rotation program. This program provides a saddle to each WNFR Qualifier, as well as provides a saddle recognizing the Fastest Time, Rookie of the Year and the Reserve World Champion. Watch below and click for more information.
Imagine at 53 years of age you decided to chase the dream
you've dreamt of since you were four years old. Then imagine
if in your first year of buying your WPRA card, you won
the Rookie of the Year title and finished 18th in the
world. Well that's the story of Lee-Ann Rust who proves
that it's never too late to follow your dreams.
Standing in the middle of the Thomas and Mack Arena, Lee-Ann
was presented with her buckle in front of 17,000 people
during round six. "It feels absolutely phenomenal.
It is so cool. I didn't walk out there last night to get
my buckle, I floated out there. It was so neat because
I've seen it on TV for so long and to be actually standing
there on the actual dirt was very very exciting,"
Lee-Ann's mantra is "three barrels N dirt",
and as she says it's just her and her horse, three barrels
and the dirt nothing else. "It keeps me from
worrying about where I'm at or who else is there; it's
just me and Harley and three barrels and dirt. And last
night standing on that dirt in the arena I thought Harley
I'm standing on the dirt at the Thomas and Mack Arena
and next year you're going to be getting it on your shoes,"
Growing up riding horses all her life, Lee-Ann had dreamt
of buying her WPRA card and competing professionally for
many years. "Life just took over. I went to college
on a scholarship and rodeod but at that time I didn't
have the horse or the money to go pro, then I got married
and life just happened. Then one day I woke up and I realized
I can do anything I want to do; I wasn't married anymore,
didn't have a house, didn't have kids and had a handful
After moving back to Stephenville, TX, to be closer to
her family, Lee-Ann kept barrel racing as a hobby. "After
each race my brother would ask how I did and I'd tell
him oh I got third and he would say well how many horses
did you outrun and I'd reply oh I don't know 800 or 900
and he would ask how much I won and I'd say oh about $600.
He then would tell me I needed to go somewhere that when
I beat people I'd win some bigger money and I'd always
say well where would that be and he said you need to go
pro, to which I always laughed at," chuckled Lee-Ann.
After thinking about it and then believing it, Lee-Ann
bought her WPRA card and hit the road with only one horse,
Harley, plus her dog, Wrangler and never looked back.
"It's tough. There is a lot more to it than meets
the eye. I went from groomed barrel racing ground to rodeo
ground. I didn't know any of the arenas; I didn't even
know when I got somewhere where the arena or secretaries
office was. Had I known a year ago what it was going to
take to get this I'm not sure I would have paid the price,
but once I got started and left Texas I literally looked
in the mirror and burnt that bridge to go back home."
With a huge group of people supporting her while she was
on the road chasing her dreams, Lee-Ann explains that
not once did it feel like a job. "That encouragement
and support is vital because when you're out there like
that and you're the only human in the rig you have to
stay on top of times because if you don't and you get
lonely that's a downhill spiral. And that's part of that
mental and emotional control that you've got to have to
be competitive at this game."
While travelling 75,000 miles over 9 months, Lee-Ann described
her most challenging moment throughout the year. "I'd
placed 4th at Logandale, Nevada, and left midnight (Idaho
time) to drive to Pocatello by the next morning. I drove
with Lauren Sheel through a blizzard on a road that was
just crazy up and down. I made it to Ogden and couldn't
drive another mile, so Lauren took over and I couldn't
remember the trip from Ogden to Pocatello. I had never
been to Pocatello and when we got there we pulled up on
asphalt and ran down the alley an hour later. If there
was ever a time I was going to turn back, that was it
,because that was the most miserable and nasty I had experienced.
And every time I got on down the road and it got tough
and it got hard, I'd remember what my dad said,which was
you can do anything for four hours. You've only got to
drive four hours then let Harley off to stretch, feed,
water; give us both a break. And I'd always remember that
when things got tough you can do anything for four
Raising and training Harley herself, not only was Lee-Ann
a rookie this year, but Harley also. "Some people,
and not all of them, but some people are just blessed
to have one horse in their life that when they see that
horse it touches their heart and they know without any
other information that that horse is special to their
destiny, to their fate and that's how I felt about Harley,"
"Gina Franklin, who rode him when he was three years
old, called me in June when I broke into the top 15 and
she said "you know Lee-Ann I don't know if you remember
this or not but I came out to visit you when Harley was
three days old and you were scratching his belly and you
looked across his back at me and you told me that you
don't know if it would be 2011 or 2012 but I was going
to see you and Harley coming up the arena at the Thomas
and Mack. I don't remember saying that to her but that
made the hairs on my arms stand up."
Riding in a snaffle bit and split reins, Lee-Ann compares
Harley to 'The Incredible Hulk', explaining how he is
so 'cool', but so intense that when he enters the arena
it's like his shirt rips open and he just knows what to
do. Lee-Ann really appreciates her sponsors during the
year also: Easy Mile Log, Iconoclast Boots and Basin Tack
Company. "I've got to tip my hats to the sponsors
of the WNFR also, Wrangler, Justin and Resitol because
if it wasn't for these guys this just wouldn't be the
same and I appreciate those people."
"We don't kill our dreams they die because we
quit feeding them. If my life can inspire somebody or
give someone hopes, then my life has been well lived.
If I can be a positive influence, then I've had a successful
WPRA wishes to thank our generous sponsors and
asks you to please checkout their websites and
learn about their product offers!
The Women’s Pro Rodeo Association | 431 South Cascade | Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | (719) 447-4627 | (719) 447-4631 (fax)