PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, November 2, 2012
Congratulations to the newly crowned 2012 World Champions in the All Around, the three Roping Divisions, the Futurity/Derby Division and the Juniors. Also congratulations to the winners of the cardholder race, permit race and slot race. There were several members that filled their permits in the permit barrel race and will have the opportunity to upgrade their membership to card status. There were also card members that accumulated quite a bit of money for the current year qualification standings to get into the 2013 limited entry rodeos. The Saturday evening performance was well attended and enjoyed by all. Complete coverage on the world champions and other titlist will be in the December Women's Pro Rodeo News.
The World Finals wrapped up Sunday evening with the last stop on the 2012 WPRA Qualifying Tour. It was a great barrel race. Jean Winters ran one of the faster times of the week to win the barrel race and move her up into the fifth position in the Tour putting her in contention for a place at the Calgary Stampede in July. Kim Schultz also had a good run and wound up in the No. 2 position and secured herself a spot in Calgary next summer. Our thanks to the Calgary Stampede for sponsoring the final stop on the WPRA Tour. Congratulations to Shada Brazile on winning the WPRA Qualifying Tour.
Our thanks to the Lancaster Events Center for hosting the World Finals for the third year and to the Lincoln Visitors Bureau. They have been great partners with the WPRA. Also we would like to thank all the sponsors that had a presence at the World Finals. We would not be able to have the Finals without the participation from all of you and we very much appreciate your involvement.
The entries for the World Finals were up again for the third straight hear. The barrel racing and roping began on Thursday evening and ran nearly nonstop until Sunday evening. Our thanks to Robin Hofmann, the producer, and her crew; the ones from our office who came down to work; the directors that were there and helped; the ground crew; and all the volunteers. An event this size cannot be put on without a great deal of effort and coordination. Thanks to everyone who entered and again thanks to those who helped put on the event.
The All American Finals was a great rodeo and the barrel race was no exception. It came down to the top nine from the three sections on the final performance Saturday night, and then from nine to four in that same performance. The times were so close in the nine with Mary Walker, Kim Schulze, Fallon Taylor, and Kaley Bass making it to the final four. In the final four, Mary Walker ran the fastest time of the rodeo. A very exciting barrel race and congratulations to Mary Walker and Latte.
We are halfway through the Circuit Final rodeos. We have three the first part of November and three in January. Congratulations to our members that have already qualified for the RNCFR and good luck to those of you that still are yet to compete in your circuit finals.
The 2012 National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony was an amazing event. Four extraordinary women were inducted. The WPRA and the sport of professional rodeo could not have been better represented than by Mildred Farris. Congratulations Mildred and thank you for all that you have done not only for the WPRA, but for the sport of professional rodeo!
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is right around the corner and what a tremendous line up of barrel racers the WPRA will have this year. We have nine veterans and six members who will be making their first trip to the WNFR. It should be a very competitive barrel race and a great finals! Congratulations to the 2012 WPRA Rookie of the year Emily Efurd. She will be recognized at our Star Celebration at the Wrangler NFR and receive her rookie saddle. Then in the sixth performance of the Wrangler NFR, she will be recognized with the other rookies in professional rodeo and receive her Resistol Rookie of the year buckle.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, September 2, 2012
Congratulations to Mary Walker on her move to number four in the World Standings. You will find some great photos and nice story by Julie Mankin in this issue on Mary's win in Cheyenne. I think I can safely say that everyone in the rodeo is happy and excited for Mary. Her story is one of inspiration. Also the fact that she did not qualify into any of the limited entry winter rodeos and has not traveled across the border to Canada this year and is still setting number four in the standings and has a very legitimate chance at winning a world title is pretty amazing.
A big thanks to the PRCA Judges and the Caldwell (Idaho) Rodeo Committee. The first three runners on Friday night had trouble with the ground and the Judges stopped the barrel race and the committee worked the ground after the rodeo and then the barrel race was run. I understand from members that the committee worked on the ground all day on Saturday to make sure the conditions were perfect for the finals on Saturday. We very much appreciate your efforts.
The 2013 membership letters are going out. It is hard to believe that our 2013 rodeo season starts next month. Our membership really grew in 2012. We reached over 2,500 members. The association is very pleased to have enjoyed one of its best membership years.
The American Royal Rodeo, has decided to drop the limits on the entries in the barrel racing. This is GREAT NEWS and we want to thank the committee for doing this. The American Royal is an outstanding committee and has had a WPRA barrel race at their rodeo for over 40 years. Margo Ransom, the Great Lakes director, has been in contact with the committee for some time discussing this possibility. Margo, we appreciate you diligence and want you to know what a super job you are doing in your area. Members be sure and support this rodeo. This committee has supported our association by not having limits on entries.
It is time to vote for the Justin Best Footing Award. These awards are really sought after by the rodeo committees. It is very important that you as members take the time to vote for the committees that have the best ground and have worked really hard to make sure that the ground is excellent and consistent throughout the rodeo. Their efforts need to be recognized. Good and consistent ground plays such an important role in our event. It is so important to the safety and well being of the horse and rider as well as ensuring a fair competitive playing field for everyone entered. THANK YOU JUSTIN for making this program possible. Justin gives out 48 awards and $25,000 in cash each year to committees across the United States. Justin and the WPRA began this program with the WPRA 20 years ago and it has been so beneficial to our members and their horses.
The Circuit Finals will be starting next month. The Turquoise and the Badlands Circuit Finals will be held the first week in October followed by the California and the Prairie Circuit Finals the third week in October. The Mountain States and Wilderness Circuit Finals will wind up the month of October. There are a total of six being held in the month of October. Three will follow in November and the remaining three will be held in January. Good Luck to all our member competing at their Circuit Finals in October.
It is shaping up to be a very competitive All American Finals with over $60,000 in purse money. Currently the top 30 in the standings include numerous past and present WNFR qualifiers. The cutoff date for the necessary 30 rodeos in order to qualify is September 10th. The entries close September 20th.
The books for the World Finals opened on August 20th and will close on September 10th. We are looking forward to seeing many of our members in Lincoln in October. There will be opportunities for all our members to enter and compete, during this great weekend. The money won in the $20,000 card race in the 1D will count to 2013 limited entry qualification standings if you competed at 10 WPRA approved barrel races at rodeos. The money won at Lincoln helped Kendra Dickson last year to qualify into the winter limited entry rodeos. The WPRA Qualifying Tour barrel race at the World Finals will be the last stop on the Tour. It is turning out to be an exciting race and we will know the winner after the World Finals.
Best of luck to everyone during this last month of regular season rodeos and be safe!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, July 31, 2012
This is the year "Girls Rule" according to the slogan for this year's Fireball Run, a road rally/scavenger hunt where Kelly Kaminski and Laura Lambert will be representing the WPRA and competing against other women celebrities (more information on pg. 46).
"Girls Rule" was certainly the case this 4th of July on the Professional Rodeo circuit. This year's Cowboy Christmas included 31 rodeos that began or ended during the week of July 2-8 with prize money of over $3 million. Our top three barrel racers in the world had quite a 4th of July run to say the least! Our number one barrel racer in the world Brittany Pozzi won $27,789. That was enough to give her the number one spot in overall Cowboy Christmas earnings. Followed closely behind was Lindsey Sears with $25,780. She held down the number two position in overall winnings. The number two barrel racer in the world, Carlee Pierce, also had a very good 4th with winnings of $19,628 which resulted in her being ranked 6th overall. Two barrel racers have never held down the top two spots amongst all the ProRodeo contestants in the Overall Cowboy Christmas earnings. And for three of the top six positions to be held by barrel racers is pretty remarkable!! Congratulations to these three women!! Also a big thank you to these 31 rodeo committees who provided them with this opportunity!
We have a committee that is working very hard on our new drug testing procedures for 2013. The United States Equestrian Federation has been very helpful. The USEF has been conducting equine drug testing throughout the United States since 1970. The AQHA, NCHA, Polo Association, and many other organizations have used their rules as a model. The veterinarian who is the chief administrator of their Equine Drugs and Medication Program spent a great deal of time on a conference call with our committee and was very helpful. They have 150 veterinarians across the U.S. that are trained and certified to test at events and they also have the largest equine testing lab in the world in Lexington, Ky. We plan to use their veterinarians that have been trained and certified to conduct the testing at our events as well as their lab. They also have a 24-hour hotline to answer questions and our members will possibly have access to that. One of the main purposes of this program is to educate our members. We realize that our members would not give anything to their horse knowingly that would harm them, but this can happen inadvertently because of lack of knowledge. Barrel racing is the only equine discipline that I am aware of that does not have a drug testing policy in place. We understand that at least one of the major rodeos plan to drug test the rodeo contestant horses in 2013. We feel it is beneficial to have our own policies in place and to patrol our event. The humane issue is one of the most serious issues facing rodeo today. By instituting this policy we are letting everyone know that we like other associations are concerned with the well being of our equine athletes and the education of our members. Sometime in August we plan to have our policies in place and posted on our website for our members to review before the beginning of the 2013 season.
The barrel racing world was saddened to learn of the death of Gils Bay Boy affectionately known in our industry as Scamper. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch Scamper and Charmayne throughout their career. The first time I saw Scamper run was in the fall of 1983 at the Martha Josey Barrel Race at Trader's Village. Kenneth Springer told me to be sure that I watched the run of a young teenager from Clayton, NM on a little bay gelding. Charmayne purchased her card the next year and as they say the rest was history. I feel like I watched Charmayne and Scamper grow up and mature over the next years. They were a team in every sense of the word and epitomized the unity between horse and rider that we talk about at clinics. The barrel racing world will always be in debt to the dynamic duo for the recognition they brought to our sport. Many people became barrel racing fans as they watched the pair go on to win 10 World Championships. A feat that I feel sure will never be repeated. I think Pam Minick summed it up best when she said "what a ride." It truly was and thank you Charmayne and Scamper for allowing so many of us to experience it with you.
The entries open for the World Finals on August 20th. Money won in the WPRA cardholder barrel race will again count towards the 2013 qualifying standings to get into the limited entry rodeos. The WPRA barrel race on Oct. 21 will be then last stop on the Qualifying Tour. Be sure and mark the World Finals date (October 17-21) on your calendar.
If you are planning to try and qualify for the 2012 All American Finals, be sure to remember that you have to have competed at 30 All American Rodeos before the deadline. There will be over $60,000 in purse money in the barrel race and the money won there will count toward the 2012 qualifying standings for the 2013 limited entry rodeos. So it is important to keep up with your rodeo count.
We held our fourth general membership meeting of the year in Salinas, Calif., and had a great turn out, with over 50 members in attendance. We had a very open and frank discussion on several very important issues concerning the association. I would like to thank the members that took the time to attend and participate in this meeting. Our last and final general membership meeting will be held at the World Finals. If you are there, please plan to attend. This is one of your opportunities as a member to be able to provide your association with your input.
Travel safe this hot summer and good luck!
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, July 2, 2012
The summer is well underway and this is a good time to remember that the WPRA World Finals will be held in a little over three months. Be sure to save the date (October 18-21) on your calendars and start making plans to attend if you haven't already. World champions will be crowned in the junior and futurity/derby divisions as well as the tie-down roping, team roping and breakaway roping.
We will also have a WPRA card holder barrel race with $20,000 added and a permit barrel race with $10,000 added. The money won in the card race will again count toward the 2013 qualifying standings to get into the 2013 limited entry rodeos. Last year the money Kendra Dickson won in the card holder barrel race at the World Finals helped her qualify into the Houston and San Antonio limited entry rodeos. This year we will have a WPRA Tour Race on Sunday afternoon. It will be a one go round, straight card race and will be one of the 15 stops on our Tour.
The World Finals is the only event that the WPRA puts on and it provides an opportunity for all of our 2,500 members to come and compete for over $90,000 in added money and bonuses. It is a way we give back to our entire membership, and the number of entries at our World Finals continues to grow.
The All American Finals does not conflict with the World Finals this year, but regrettably, two of our circuit finals are being held at the same time as our World Finals. We had to set our dates for this year with the Lancaster Events Center immediately after our finals last year. At that time, the Prairie Circuit nor the California Circuit had set their dates for their finals. It is hard that time of the year not to conflict with some event and that is the way the dates fell this year. We hope all of our members that can, will be in Lincoln on October 18-21. There is an event for everyone to compete in.
We are excited about the first year of the WPRA Tour and the opportunity that it provides to all of our members. Plans are already under way for next year to improve the 2013 Tour. The response from the committees that are on the Tour this year has been very positive and many have asked what they can do to help. Members are trying to make sure they include some of the Tour rodeos are on their rodeo schedules. Ann Bleiker has a great story in this month's magazine about the Tour. Click here to read Ann's story.
The All American Finals will be held October 7-13 with over $60,000 in total purse money in the barrel race. Be sure to remember that you have to compete at 30 All American rodeos to qualify. The money won at the All American Finals will count toward the 2012 qualifying standings for the 2013 limited entry rodeos. Troy and Mary Gibbs are again one of the sponsors for the All American Finals. They believe this event is very important for the barrel racers because it provides another great finals with a large purse that 30 of our members who have supported the grass roots rodeos throughout the year have the opportunity qualify for. We very much appreciate their support.
Our membership is made up of many groups of women with different goals. We are trying to learn more about our members and their goals through our survey questions on the web site. The more we learn, the better able we are to recognize your needs and try to meet them. I want to begin to share some of that information with you in future letters. We have had three General Membership meetings in 2012. A fourth is scheduled for Thursday, July 19th in Salinas, Calif., one hour after slack. Hope to see you there.
Have a great July. Good luck and travel safe.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, May 30, 2012
Today the sport of professional rodeo is facing many challenges. The contestants, stock contractors, and rodeo committees are all faced with increased expenses and more people are vying for fewer sponsorship dollars. Committees are experimenting with different formats of their rodeo, in order to keep it "new and exciting". We are very actively talking with them to understand their issues and to ensure that WPRA barrel racing is part of their plans in the future. In order for the sport of professional rodeo to continue to flourish, in the years to come, everyone involved has to be successful. Professional rodeo is the heart of our association and we are trying to reach out to committees and sponsors to see how we can better meet their needs and be better partners for years to come.
Limited entry rodeos are a reality and something we watch very carefully. For 2012, 26 out of the 500 rodeos we approve will be limited entry. There are various reasons that these rodeos have limits. The committees have told us that they are facing everything from time restraints and lack of parking and stalls to hard costs for staff and equipment. We realize these limited-entry rodeos are not popular with you our members. Know we are in contact with these committees to try to encourage them to take as many as contestants as possible and to have consistent qualifications for all rodeos.
We have been in dialogue with the Calgary Stampede for the past few months and will be approving the barrel race at the Stampede in 2013. The Calgary Stampede is one of the great professional rodeos and we are excited to again have an approved WPRA barrel race there. Our primary goal in working with Calgary on the approval was to insure as many opportunities as possible for our members to qualify for the 20 positions. There will be qualifying positions from the 2012 world standings, the 2013 current year's world standings, the 2012 CPRA standings, the Stampede winner from the previous year, the 2012 RNCFR winner, and the WPRA Qualifying Tour. We are very excited about the WPRA Qualifying Tour, as it will provide an opportunity to a much wider part of our membership base to qualify for Calgary beyond the current and prior year's standings. We hope the Tour will possibly serve as a qualifier into other limited entry rodeos. We are also excited about the RNCFR winner qualifying into Calgary. The circuit system is so important to our association. An announcement with all the particulars on the approval can be found on our web site. The committee at Calgary has worked with us to provide these many different opportunities for the membership to qualify. Only one half of the $100,000 bonus money will count toward our world standings. They are a great committee to work with and we looking forward to a long relationship with them.
The board has made a decision to reinstate a drug testing policy. These rules will be in the 2013 rule book and random testing will began during the year. Many of our members have requested we have a testing policy in place. Rodeo is one of the only equine disciplines that does not conduct some type of drug testing. We want to have our own drug testing policy in place in case an outside source would want to come in and test at a rodeo or barrel race. Having our own policy in place would prevent us from being subject to other rules. We are also doing this to educate our members about drugs and for the safety of the horses.
Your directors have difficult decisions to make. A board member has to look at how her vote affects the membership and the future of the organization, which is sometimes very hard. We are an independent organization and the board has to try to carve out a place for our organization in professional rodeo. We realize that the relationships that we build and develop with our committees are the key to the future of our organization. We support the PRCA and appreciate the role that they play in the future of professional rodeo. We, like the PRCA, want what is best for the sport of professional rodeo.
Lastly, please be sure to read the note in this issue about the WPRA's involvement with the 2012 Fireball Run Adventure. The Fireball Run is an eight day road rally/scavenger hunt which will be streamed live on the internet. This year's theme is The Girl's Rule with female sports champions competing against each other as they travel 2200 miles across the US. The WPRA has been invited to participate. We think it is a great opportunity to bring our sport to a new market and offer a value to our sponsors.
Good luck and travel safe.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, May 1, 2012
The caliber of competition at the RNCFR was extraordinary. The barrel racing was tremendous all week. The final day was a real nail-biter, as the competition went from the round of eight to four. Sherry Cervi was the first runner in the final four. She turned in a solid run of 15.32 seconds, but the next runner, Lisa Lockhart, would move to the top of the leaderboard with a 15.20 with two ladies left to go. Carlee Pierce was the third runner of the four and ran her fastest time of the week with a blazing time of 15.08. Brittany Pozzi, who won the semifinals in a rodeo best time of 15.05 seconds, was the last runner of the day and ran a phenomenal 15.07. Wow! What an exciting barrel race! It doesn't get any better than that! Our thanks to Express Ranch, Ram, and all the sponsors that supported the RNCFR. It was a great rodeo!
Wrangler will be providing $25,000. in "Bonus Money" to the WPRA barrel racers who are the top six money winners of the Wrangler Million Tour that have not "turned out" more than once at the Wrangler Gold or Silver Tour Rodeos. Wrangler is a long time partner of the WPRA whose history runs deep supporting both Professional Rodeo and the sport of barrel racing. Wrangler sponsored the purse for the national divisional tour championship finals for many years along with a special bonus program at the NFR. Our sincere thanks to Wrangler and Jeff Chadwick for their continued support.
The "number one" barrel racer going into the Wrangler National Finals this year will receive $7,500. The WPRA Board of Directors felt that it was very important that our "Number One" barrel racer receive the same "Bonus Money" as the other events. It was the feeling of the Board that we were now in a good position to do this.
Be sure to remember that all "Rule Proposals" have to be turned in by May 10th so that they can be published in the June magazine and be on the web site the month of June. If our 2013 rule books are going to be ready to go out with our memberships in the fall, we will have to stay on the schedule that was put forth in last month's letter.
We had a very successful Board Meeting in Austin. Dr. Charles Graham hosted our Board to a delicious steak dinner on Saturday evening before the finals of Rodeo Austin. It was enjoyed by the whole Board and we certainly appreciated his hospitality along with the hospitality of the staff and rodeo committee in Austin. There is a summary of the board meeting minutes online for everyone to read. Our new board members are very excited and ready to get started in their new positions. I know they are going to be great representatives for the members of their circuits and good board members.
We have renewed our contract this past month with our long time valued partner Montana Silversmiths. They will again be making all of our beautiful World Championship buckles. Their products are of the highest quality and we hope that when our members purchase jewelry or awards, that you will consider Montana Silversmiths. Your loyalty to all of our sponsors is very important to them and their relationship with our Association.
Good luck to everyone at the rest of the spring rodeos and other approved events.
PS. It is not too early to start making plans to attend the WPRA World Finals in Lincoln, Neb., and save the date of October 18-21 on your calendars.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, April 3, 2012
Congratulations to our newly elected directors. Patti McCutchen, Roping Director; Tamra Musick, Badlands Director; Marguerite Happy, California Director, Margo Ransom, Great Lakes Director; and returning to the board as the Prairie Circuit Director, Tana Poppino and Turquoise Circuit Director, Sarah Kieckhefer. All of these ladies have been members for many years and have a vested interest in the association and it's future. I am sure they are going to do a great job. Our heartfelt thanks to our outgoing directors: Jessica Moore, Amber West, Gina Graham, and Donna Irvin. These ladies have done a tremendous job and have worked very hard for the association while serving as your directors. They have given so much of their time and have been very instrumental in the success that the association has experienced these last three years.
The winter rodeos concluded with the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin, where our board met on March 24th and 25th. We had a full agenda to cover but we were able to attend the finals of the rodeo on March 24. The hospitality that has been extended to our members at many of the winter rodeos this year has been greatly appreciated. I had the opportunity to attend performances at Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston. These committees provide meals, stalls with bedding, and other amenities. Houston has a wonderful camp ground for the contestants that I had the opportunity to see with camper hook ups, bedded stalls, a playground for the children, and a group that prepares three meals a day for the contestants. My how things have changed!!
The All American Finals will again be held in Waco, Texas, with a purse of a little over $60,000. The All American Finals provides 30 of our members the opportunity to compete in a Finals, where there is a very substantial purse. Remember in order to qualify for the Finals you have to have competed at 30 All American Rodeos. We are very appreciative and grateful to Mary and Troy Gibbs for their continued generosity. Their special gift allows our All American qualifiers to compete on an equal basis with all the events.
As I have said, it is our goal to have our 2013 rule books out at the beginning of the rodeo year. For that to happen, our deadlines will have to be moved up. There will be a rule book proposal button on the web site that you can push and submit your rule proposals or you can mail them in and these proposals have to be in our office by May 10th for them to be in our June magazine and online for the month of June. The board will have from July 1st until August 10th to go through all the proposals, vote on each one and have the final language worked out. The office then has to put the rule book together and have it to the printer August 15th for them to have it proofed and printed by the middle of September. If the office has the books and start to mail them by the September 20th, we can have them to you by October 1 when the new year begins. These are the deadlines we have to meet and the first one is up to the members to have your rule proposals in by May 10th.
Speaking of rules - just a reminder that you now have four free trades (non-conflicting) at rodeos instead of two. The trade only counts against the contestant that initiates the trades. Also, it is important to remember that the one who calls ProCom with the trade will be designated as the one who initiated the trade.
Hope you have had a good winter if you have been competing and have an even better spring.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, March 1, 2012
How did we get from January to March so quickly? The rodeo season is well underway. We have had some great winter rodeos with Odessa, Denver, Fort Worth and San Antonio and are winding up with Houston and Austin this month!
The Ram National Circuit Finals will be held the last week of March in Oklahoma City, Okla. It is going to be an exciting barrel race and a great rodeo. The circuit system is the backbone of our industry and the WPRA feels it is very important that we support the RNCFR along with the 12 individual circuit finals. The WPRA will add approximately $44,800 to the purse of the barrel race at the RNCFR. We will also provide the jackets, back numbers and a stall for our contestants. In addition, we put $3,000 into the purse of each individual circuit finals and $2,700 is given to every circuit for awards. Good luck to all our members that qualified for RNCFR!
We have just completed a series of general membership meetings. They were all good meetings and well attended. I began in Billings, Mont., on January 30th. This was not a scheduled meeting, but I was in Montana for the yearly Montana Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Event with my husband, so Tannis Kobold, Montana Circuit Director, with the help of Larry Jordan set up a WPRA membership meeting. We had almost 20 members attend and they had good input and excellent questions. Thanks to Tannis and Larry for putting together this impromptu meeting.
The next scheduled membership meeting was held February 13th in San Angelo, Texas, on the day the rodeo runs a complete go round in the barrel race. There was a record 261 barrel racing contestants and the committee drug with tractors after every five runners. A big thank you to the committee there. Texas director, Savanah Reeves, set the membership meeting for immediately after the slack and the San Angelo committee allowed us to have the meeting in the Spur Room. We had great attendance at the meeting. It was good to see such a cross section of our membership at the meeting. We had rookies, circuit members, and NFR qualifiers. It is wonderful to see that so many of our members are interested in the organization and its future.
We then traveled from San Angelo to Florida and had membership meetings on February 16th and 17th after the barrel racing slack at Brighton and Kissimeee. There were also a lot entries in the barrel races at these rodeos and again the meetings were well attended. Between the two meetings, we were able to visit with many of the members in the state of Florida. It worked out really well and thanks to Doreen Wintermute for setting up these meetings. The board believes that these membership meetings are very important to the association. They are a good way for the board to receive valuable input and to hear thoughts from members all over the country. This input helps the board when they make decisions that affect the entire membership. Personally, I enjoyed meeting members that I have not had the opportunity to meet before and seeing old friends. An association is only as strong as its members and their support and after attending these meetings, it reaffirms my belief that our association is very strong!
We hope you have noticed that we are really trying to improve our WPRA Facebook page. We now have current opening and closing dates and other useful information on it. If you are having trouble pulling up certain parts of our website on your phone, go to our Facebook for updated changes in entry closings. There have been some changes and improvements in our website and we are really very proud of it. I hope all of our members will go to our web page and look at it and let us know your opinion and any suggestions you might have. Also, it is always good to check the website for current and updated entry closing times. We are working to provide a mobile application that will allow all of our members to access our website from your mobile devices. Some are able to while others are not.
The rule books are out and I again would ask you to make sure you read it. There are sections in the book that have been cleaned up and also there are some important rule changes concerning the dress code, release policy, setting up for runs, and other things. Our goal for next year is to have our rule books out at the beginning of the year and this means that all new rule proposals will have to be in no later than June 1st.
The WPRA is proud to announce our partnership with Platinum Coach and Cactus Saddlery as the official trailer and saddle of the WPRA. The WPRA stands for quality when it comes to our members and the horses they ride. Platinum Coach and Cactus Saddlery represent that same quality in their industries. We believe that they are a perfect match for the WPRA.
The WPRA Board will meet March 24th and 25th in Austin, Texas, for our annual physical Spring Board Meeting. We will be publishing that agenda soon on our website. Any thoughts that you have on the items on the agenda that will be discussed at the meeting or new items for the agenda, please contact your director. We will also continue to have our monthly teleconference meetings.
Thanks again to all our members who took the time to attend the general membership meetings. Travel safe and good luck wherever you may be competing in the weeks to come.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, February 10, 2012
The Montana and First Frontier Circuit Finals finished out the 2011 season. Congratulations to all our members that qualified for the Ram National Circuit Finals. The lineup for the barrel race at the RNCFR, which is returning to Oklahoma City for the second year, appears to be very competitive this year and it should be a great event. There will also be a convention for rodeo committees held during the RNCFR similar to the ones held in Omaha and in Las Vegas. This should be a great addition to the Circuit Finals week.
The nomination ballots have gone out for the Badlands, Great Lakes, Prairie, Turquoise, California, and Roping director positions. Be sure and send in your ballots if you are a roper or live in these circuits. It is important that all members participate in the association's election process.
The 2012 rule books will be going out the first week of February. We would have preferred that they had gone out with the membership cards, but the board, some of our members, and our office staff have spent a great deal of time trying to clean up the rule book this year and hopefully that will help when we begin to work on the 2013 rule book. Our goal will be to put our rule book out at the beginning of the year. I would personally like to thank everyone that worked on the rule book this year. We appreciate the hours you put in on this project. The 2012 changes have been bolded in black and if you are an existing member it is still probably a good idea to review the entire rule book as some rules have been changed or clarified, along with new rules. If you are a new member, it is a good idea to read the rule book and familiarize yourself with the rules of the association. It is a member's responsibility to know the rule book.
The year 2011 ended as a very good year for the association. The year's ending numbers are in the black and rodeo participation was up. These are all signs of a healthy business during a continuing bad economy. The membership has not grown but the number of members seems to stay about same. We would certainly like to grow our membership and that will be one of our goals.
The audit for the association generally starts in late January, when all the expenses are in. The audit should be finalized by mid-April. Each director is provided with a hard copy of the audit and the auditor will review the complete audit with the board. Directors will have their copy and can answer your questions, or you may request financial/audit information from our office through the Executive Secretary. Members are then provided with a summary version of the audit. Our tax returns can be found publicly on the Internet or can be requested. As I understand, this policy has been in effect for some time. All members have this information available to them upon request.
The winter rodeos are well under way and good luck to our members who will be competing at these rodeos.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, January 5, 2012
What a great and exciting Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! Congratulations to Lindsay Sears the 2011 WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer! The top 15 barrel racers in the world that represented the WPRA at the Wrangler NFR did a tremendous job. These ladies traveled all over the United States and Canada this past year and were the face of our organization. I do not think that we could have been better represented. I was so impressed with these women at our Star Celebration when Pam Minick visited with each of them and asked questions about their year and their horses.
Our thanks to Las Vegas Events for the great hospitality that they extended to all of the contestants at the Wrangler NFR. Shawn Davis, the general manager of the NFR, works very hard to make sure the ground is good and consistent for all the events for 10 consecutive performances. This year more sand was added to the ground and most of the barrel racers seemed to agree that this was probably the best ground that they had run on at the National Finals. Our thanks to Shawn Davis for his hard work and expertise to make sure that the Wrangler NFR continues to be the best rodeo in the world.
This year at the Wrangler NFR, the WPRA again had a presence at the round table discussions during the PRCA convention. We centered our discussions around guidelines for good ground for the entire rodeo one day and tips for good ground at outside and indoor facilities the next day.
We had some excellent speakers and the presentations were very well received by the committees each day. They felt they received some excellent information and left with contacts for Safe Arena Footing, a new committee dedicated to safe arena ground conditions for all disciplines. Committees can call this group to ask for advice concerning their ground. We would like to thank all of our committees for their hard work throughout the year in preparing for their events. The committees are so important to our industry and without them there would not be places for our members and their talented equine athletes to compete and win money.
Forty eight committees received Justin Best Footing Awards at the WPRA Star Celebration held at the Wrangler NFR and it was your votes that allowed us to recognize these committees. All of these committees worked very hard to provide consistent and safe ground for the barrel race and the entire rodeo. These awards are much sought after by the committees and this program is very important to our association. When you are at a rodeo and the ground is good or improved, be sure to say thank you to a committee member and remember to vote for them.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will be having a WPRA approved barrel race in 2012 that will count towards the WPRA World Standings. Houston met with us at the Wrangler NFR and indicated they were interested in having an approved barrel race. We were aware that the time frame for getting the approval finalized was very short, but Houston is a long time, valued partner of the WPRA and the board felt we should make this effort. Houston delayed the closing of their books one week to give us more time to notify our members. There are some changes in the qualifications this year. Houston will be limited to 40 contestants this year instead of 50.
Qualification for Houston will be as follows; 1) The top 5 in the 2012 qualification standings as of December 1st, 2) The San Angelo 2012 winner will qualify for Houston. San Angelo is open to all WPRA card members and that will give one more opportunity for one of our members to qualify for the RodeoHouston, 3) The previous five Houston Series Champion, 4) The remainder will come from the 2011 qualification standings. If there are any overlaps we will drop down in the 2011 qualification standings. In order to compete at Houston, you have to be a current WPRA card holder. Houston and the WPRA have agreed that in 2012 negotiations for an approval will begin immediately after the rodeo and an announcement will be made early in the year.
2011 was a year marked with much progress for the WPRA. The Association enjoyed continued financial stability which in a period of economic uncertainty was no mere feat. We approved and processed over 500 rodeos. More than 900 events were co-approved and processed, ranging from barrel races, futurities/derbies, to roping jackpots. The PESI program is flourishing and expanding. Five of the qualifiers at the 2011 Wrangler NFR rode horses that were PESI stallion prodigy. Our roster of sponsors is growing and we will work very hard to make sure that continues. We had three general membership meetings across the country this year, along with a meeting of the top 15 at the NFR. These meetings give our members the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on different matters. Our board feels that the input from these meetings is beneficial to them when they vote on the different issues. Our first general membership meeting of the year will be in Florida in February. We also plan to send out more surveys on different issues. Our response was good and the information gathered in these surveys serves as a great benefit to our board when making decisions that affect the membership. The 2011 World Finals held in Lincoln this year continued its successful turnaround with increased participation and a positive bottom line. Lastly but most important, I believe you have a great board as I have said many times this year. I am so impressed with the way they strive to represent all the members in their circuits, but at the same time recognize that it is equally important to think of the future of the WPRA. This sometimes calls for a delicate balance and they seem to do it well. They function as a team and they are truly a pleasure to work with.
WPRA elections will be held in the spring. You will be receiving your nomination ballots in January, if the term for your circuit director is expiring. It is very important for everyone to participate in the election process.
Good luck in the coming year of competition and travel safe to those early winter rodeos.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, November 1, 2011
The World Finals held in Lincoln, Neb., at the Lancaster Events Center was a very exciting event this year. The entries were up in nearly all of the events and contestants drove to Lincoln from all over the country. All of the 12 circuits were represented. We had team ropers that came from as far away as Virginia.
There was amazing talent in all of the different divisions. The special Saturday night performance, which was new this year, was well received. It was Tough Enough to Wear Pink night and there was a big crowd, with several standing room only fans, which made it fun. There were great times in all three of the roping events in the bonus round on Saturday night with the World and Reserve Champions being recognized after the events. The crowd loved the roping and appreciated the talent they had and the opportunity to watch.
We crowned the Junior World Champion that night and presented her championship to her in the arena. It was a great story and truly a family effort to win the championship with her grandmother hauling her horse on different occasions. Congratulations to Kylar Terlip on Fire Powered Jet and her family. We finished the evening with the exciting Pro Futurity Slot Race, which was won by Cindy Smith a former NFR qualifier on her good young horse Wood B Smoking Fame.
The WPRA would like to congratulate all of the World Champions in all the divisions and the event winners. Complete coverage will be available in the December issue of the Women's Pro Rodeo News. Also our thanks to our staff from our office - Janet Cropper, Kelsey Larson, and Mindy Anderson - who took the entries and then went to Lincoln to help run the office. Robin Hoffman and her staff were the event coordinators and also did a great job. Susie McConaghie, the futurity/derby director, continues to grow that division and had a very successful event this year. Jessica Moore's baby was due any day and she and her family ran off the roping end without a hitch. I think that is above and beyond a roping director's duty. Thanks Jessica to you and your family. Katie Hollingsworth secured many of the all important sponsors for the event. There were many nice awards for all the divisions that different people helped to get. Our thanks to all those who played a part in making this event so great. It takes a tremendous effort by many people to put on this event and the WPRA board very much appreciates your hard work.
We had a general membership meeting at the World Finals with a lot of good input. It was really nice to have all of the different divisions of the association represented at one meeting. Thanks to those who took the time to attend. The WPRA Board of Directors had a strategic planning meeting at the World Finals and it was a great opportunity for many of the board members to see the Finals and get a feel for how it was run. Several of our directors competed. I think they were all very impressed with the event and had a good time.
Congratulations to Sue Smith, the winner of the Justin Boots Championship. She made her final winning run on Sept. 24 to a packed house. It was a great performance and the barrel racing was close which made it exciting and the crowd loved it. A win at Omaha also, moved Britany Fleck into the top 15 and secured her a spot at the NFR.
The All American Finals concluded the same weekend as the World Finals. What a great week for WPRA barrel racing. Thirty barrel racers, who had qualified from All American Rodeos throughout the country, came to Waco to compete for over $60,000 in prize money. After 10 performances the field was narrowed from 30 to only eight for the last performance and then to four in that same performance. What an exciting format that the crowd loves to watch. Sherrylynn Johnson a former NFR qualifier from Oklahoma came away with the win and Jewels DeNapoli from Florida was a close second. Congratulations to these ladies and all the qualifiers.
Many of the Circuit Finals have been held and half of the slate of barrel racers to compete at the Ram National Circuit Finals has been determined. It is shaping up to be a good barrel race in Oklahoma City in 2012. Congratulations to the qualifiers from the Badlands, California, and Turquoise Circuits, who had already crowned their champions at press time.
Brittany Pozzi will lead the field of the top 15 barrel racers in the World into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. As usual it was a race down to the wire for those last few positions. Tammy Fischer wound up in the 15th position. Midway through the year, after a 19 month layoff, Tammy returned to competition on her good horse Roundpen who has carried her to several NFRs and she rose quickly in the standings. We have three former World Champions in the top three positions, eight past NFR qualifiers and four first time qualifiers. It should prove to be another exciting NFR. I along with barrel racing fans everywhere will be looking forward to watching these talented riders and horses compete in 10 performances in Las Vegas with a world title on the line.
Good luck to everyone who has begun the 2012 rodeo season and good luck to those who still have your Circuit Finals remaining.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, October 3, 2011
The 2011 point year has ended and we are beginning the 2012 year. I hope many of you are planning on attending the World Finals in Lincoln, Neb. Our total entries are up and we are looking forward to a great event. We will be having our last general membership meeting of the year at the World Finals. If you are in Lincoln for the finals, plan to attend. These meetings are a great way for us to get your input which will help the directors when they make decisions that affect the entire membership.
We have discussed the 30 hour replacement rule at the membership meetings. Many of our members have had the opportunity to move into these rodeos when there were turnouts. With this rule, it is important to remember to enter these rodeos whether you qualify or not because you just might get in.
We had a good membership meeting at Pendleton and I want to thank all the members that took the time to attend. We had good input from the members that came. It was great to see some friends that I had not seen in a number of years and we appreciated the great hospitality from the Pendleton Round-Up Committee. What a legendary rodeo! I had never been and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is so much history and tradition there. It is truly one of the last of its kind and they do love the barrel race there. You can read the minutes from the meeting online.
Just a reminder to everyone, that you have only two releases for the year. Use them wisely and keep up with how many you have used. Turnouts are a problem in all the events including ours. Committees are counting on you to be there when you enter and when there are turnouts, it hurts their rodeo.
It is a very good idea to always check to see if there are any special ground rules for the rodeo posted in the rodeo office or online. Also if you are entered, be sure to read the ground rules for the All American Finals, RNCF, and the Wrangler NFR.
We have three new sets of timers that have been donated to the WPRA. They are two timers in one unit. We are very excited about trying these timers at the World Finals and the All American Finals. Our thanks to the donor.
Congratulations to our members who have qualified for their Circuit Finals, the All American Finals, and the Wrangler NFR. Hope to see you in Lincoln at the World Finals. Good luck in the coming year and travel safe wherever you may be going.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, September1, 2011
The general membership meetings in Cheyenne and Salinas went very well. We received some great input and suggestions from the members. I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting members that I did not know. The minutes from these meetings can be found on our web site if you would like to read them. I am looking forward to our next general membership meeting in Pendleton on September 13th after the slack. If you are in the area, I hope you will try and attend.
In August, I attended my first Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund Meeting since being elected President. I very much enjoy serving on this board. They continue to do so much good for all rodeo contestants and their families including barrel racers. What a great group of people who volunteer their time to serve on this board and Justin Boots is to be commended for initiating this program in the late 1980's. They were the first to address helping rodeo contestants and their families financially who had suffered catastrophic injuries.
The competition year is winding down with many year-end finals right around the corner. The Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Justin Boots Playoff in Puyallup, Wash., will be taking the top 24 in the Tour standings and the top 12 from Puyallup will advance to the Justin Boots Championship in Omaha, Neb., for the final stop on the Tour. In October, the top 30 in the All-American Standings will be traveling to Waco, Texas where the All-American Finals will be held. The barrel racers will be competing for almost $67,000.00 in purse money. The year is also drawing to a close for the circuits. Hope you have kept up with your rodeo count and have gone to enough rodeos in your circuit to qualify. The first circuit finals will be held the last weekend of September in Las Cruces, N.M. and the next two will be held in early October in Minot, N.D. and Lancaster, Calif.. If you would like to compete at some of these different finals that I have just talked about and have not qualified, be sure to enter because you have no way of knowing how far they might have to drop down in the standings to fill the event.
The WPRA World Finals will again be held in Lincoln, Neb., at the Lancaster Event Center. After coming off of a very successful year in 2010, the WPRA World Finals is looking forward to an even better event this year with over $80,000 in added money. There is an opportunity for all our members to come and compete for large purses and have a great time. Events include a barrel race for WPRA card holders, a permit-only barrel race, a junior barrel race, a futurity/derby for your young horses and three roping events. World Champions will be crowned in the Junior, Futurity/Derby, Team Roping, Breakaway Roping, Tie-Down Roping, and All-Around. There will also be a separate event (including all three roping events and barrel racing) that will count towards the 2012 All-Women's Standings. It will be good way to get a head start for next year. The WPRA card holder barrel race will count toward the 2012 standings that will be used for qualification into the limited-entry rodeos, but will not count toward any other standings (WNFR, etc). However, in order for it to count, the contestant must have competed at a minimum of 10 WPRA/PRCA Rodeos. I will be looking forward to seeing you at the WPRA World Finals. Hope you will be there.
The ballots for the Justin Best Footing Awards will be mailed to you in the near future. Be sure that you vote. This is a very important award and we want to make sure the committees, that work hard to make sure their ground is in excellent condition and consistent for every performance, are recognized. One of our members at the Salinas general membership meetings had a very good suggestion. When you see a committee person out in the arena on a tractor working the ground, it never hurts to go up and thank them for their efforts in making sure the ground is safe for the entire rodeo. A big "Hats off" to the Bonifay, Fla. committee. Their rodeo is held each year in October on a football field. This year they are going to take up the grass turf around the barrels and work up that ground for the rodeo. After the rodeo, they will have to replace the turf for the remainder of the football season. This is all to insure the safety of the horses and riders.
The humane issue in all equestrian disciplines is under such close scrutiny today. We must patrol our own event, so that people outside our industry will not try to do this for us. The over-all picture that we present of our event is very important to our association and the sport of professional rodeo. Our members are excellent horsewomen and ride some of the best horses in the sport. Our horses are also some of the best taken care of on the road. That is the image we always want to portray.
The last few months of the year are a very busy and sometimes a stressful time for many of our members as it is for the ladies who work in our office. My thanks to them for their hard work and the great job they do for our association.
Good luck to everyone for the remainder of the year.
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, August 1, 2011
The rodeo season is at it's height with the Fourth of July run completed and a great deal of money left to be won the rest of the month. I hope everyone had a great Fourth and if you spent it barrel racing, I hope that it was a profitable holiday.
Your board is working very hard to continue to open the lines of communication between the association and our members. One way we plan to do that is to send out membership surveys. We have just received the results of the first survey and we feel the response was very good. If you would like to see the results of the survey, you can go to the web site. The surveys will let us know what is on your mind and how you feel about certain issues. I think they will help the board as they make decisions that affect the entire membership. We have started to put together topics for the next survey and would like to have your input.
The ground rules for the World Finals have been approved and are on line. The World Finals Committee is working very hard to make sure the event is even more successful this year. The World Finals offers something for all our members whether you have a card, permit, roping card, or Jr. membership. There is also a futurity and derby for members who have young horses. You can find out more about the World Finals on our web site and be sure to read the press release to find out all the particulars and plan to attend. The money won in the WPRA barrel race at the World Finals will count for the 2012 standings that will be used towards qualification into the limited entry rodeos. It WILL NOT count towards any other standings (WNFR, etc). In addition in order for it to count, the contestant must have competed at a minimum of 10 PRCA/WPRA rodeos during the 2011 rodeo season.
Also many of you may be entering and competing at the All-American Rodeos through out the country in order to qualify for that finals. You have to be in the top 30 in the standings and to have competed at 30 All American Rodeos to be able to qualify for the finals. It is another great opportunity to qualify and compete at a finals with a large purse. The money won there will count toward the 2011 standings that will be used for qualification into the limited entry rodeos. The WPRA would again like to express out thanks to Mary and Troy Gibbs for making a generous donation to the purse at the All- American Finals.
This is the first year for the 30 hour replacement rule. We only have it in place at the limited entry rodeos. We would like to know if you think this is a help and how many of you are actually taking advantage of it. The PRCA has extended this rule into more rodeos and we will be discussing the possibility of doing the same thing. The rodeo committees are vitally important to the rodeo industry. Without the rodeo committees there would not be venues for the contestants to showcase their talents. They work very hard to put on their events and they need us to be there. We want to do anything we can to help prevent turnouts.
Some of you have asked questions about the WPRA office's priorities and specifically whatever happened with the development of a new data base. Let me catch you up on where we are. The effort to re-build the data base was started in the summer of 2008 and continued through all of 2009. During that time the scope of the project kept changing, as the staff learned more about the office's operational functions and how to process all the transactions needed to run the association. While data base code and a test environment were delivered in February of 2010, it was apparent more investments would need to be made to keep up with the evolving activities of the office and the technology needed to support a customized solution. The project was stopped so the WPRA could re-access the practicality of a customized solution. Much value resulted from the project. As an example the office re-worked/streamlined rodeo & jackpot approval & results processes, they developed better procedures for tracking results, standings, releases, etc. and lastly they learned how to do more work efficiently with less staff. Delivering a new data base is one of our goals during the next 6 months. We will keep you informed on how this situation is progressing. One of the items the WPRA received from this project is a new and improved web-site that has improved the communication with the members. We are committed to providing better service to our members with greater efficiency.
Have a great rest of the summer. Travel safe and good luck.
7/1/11 Message from President Jimmie Munroe and Vice President Jerri Mann.
Hope you had a terrific 4th of July and got to enjoy some of the Cowboy Christmas cheer that was was abundant this past holiday weekend!
Both Jerri and I, just wanted to give you a “heads up" on some exciting additions the WPRA office has made to our web site in an effort to improve the flow of information to you... read more
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN UPDATE — WEBSITE, May 2, 2011
In my first communication to the members of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association as the newly elected President, I would like to thank those who encouraged me to run, and supported my nomination. To those of you who had the confidence in my leadership experience to vote for me I say a heartfelt thank you. It was encouraging to see a large voter "turnout" which says to me the membership is very interested in the direction their association is going. My intent is to represent every segment of our association and work in harmony with all our members, the Board, the sponsors, the rodeo committees and the PRCA. I especially look forward to working with all of the WPRA Board, many of whom I've never met.
Obviously it will take some time to become familiar with the WPRA staff, their various functions and to get a feel of what needs to be addressed first. I will be meeting with some present, past and future sponsors to see what mutually beneficial relationships we can establish and/or make stronger. As the heavy rodeo season rapidly approaches, I will be asking each Circuit Director to take a close look at each of her rodeo approvals, as they relate to slack, to see if anything can be done to eliminate potential conflicts with other rodeos and to solicit the help of others concerning any problems that may have occurred at particular rodeos last year. I will also be asking the staff to take a closer look at each approval for accuracy before it is published on our web site or in the Women's Pro Rodeo News. With the high cost of fuel, we need to eliminate needless trips by WPRA members if a change of slack times or other measures could benefit everyone.
Our first board meeting will be May 21-22 in Colorado Springs. We will have an agenda on the web site prior to the meeting. I know that I along with the directors would like your input on any of these items. If there is something you would like to have discussed at the meeting that is not on the agenda, please contact us and we will review it. After the meeting there will be a synopsis of the meeting on the web site. I would like for you to start thinking about rule proposals and rule changes for 2012. We have a deadline of June 1 to submit these proposals. If we can remain on schedule, we could possibly have our rule books ready in October to go out with our membership cards. This is a goal we should work toward. You can submit these proposals on the WPRA web site.
I want to thank Kathi Myers for her dedication to the WPRA for the past eight years. I have recently met with Kathi and she is committed to assure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and I certainly appreciate her efforts.
I would encourage anyone, whether you supported me in the election or not, to feel free to discuss with me any issues that you have about our association. Your comments and suggestions are important to me. As a reminder, the President of the WPRA does not have a vote. That is why it is very important to communicate with your Circuit Director who does.
I look forward to serving as your President.