By Doreen Wintermute
January 1, 2019
Well the time has come as we ring in the New Year! As the 2018 year came to a close, we ended it with another amazing experience at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I can only say this was the best Wrangler NFR I have been apart of. This was the 60th year for the National Finals Rodeo. It’s a memory of the best PRCA/WPRA talented athletes in the world and the best stock of horses and bulls that showcases what rodeo is all about. I was thrilled by the WPRA Top 15 and their amazing horses. They made the hundreds of thousands of people roar with excitement as we all watched them compete at the highest level of barrel racing!
Congratulations to the WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel and her horse DM Sissy Hayday “Sister.” It was such a beautiful moment to watch Hailey step up to the stage to accept her saddle and gold buckle. It was so well deserved. Also, congratulations to first time Wrangler NFR Qualifier Carman Pozzobon for being crowned the average winner, being the only barrel racer with 10 clean runs was so awesome and a challenge for most seasoned veterans. We are proud to see another Wrangler NFR first time qualifier Jessica Routier take home the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award after being voted “The Best Dressed Cowgirl” by her peers. Jessica received a $5,000 check from the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame for the honor. There was another bonus given at the Wrangler NFR from the WPRA PESI program to DM Sissy Hayday (Hailey Kinsel) for $2,500 for winning the world and being part of the WPRA PESI program. For some of you that are not aware of this program, please go to the WPRA website to get all the information. This is a program that benefits all the outstanding stallions and their prodigies in the WPRA Rodeo and Futurity/Derby world. Don’t miss out!!
The last thing I want to recognize Shawn Davis and his staff that are responsible for the production and operation of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It’s bittersweet moments in the production meetings having to say Shawn Davis is retiring from the Wrangler NFR. His time, hard work, and dedication is what makes the Wrangler NFR magical. I really enjoyed working with Shawn for the three years I have been President and my admiration and respect for him is profound. Shawn has hired the best staff, and as most of us know it takes a village to put on the Super Bowl of Rodeo. The NFR Committee, PRCA team, Las Vegas Events, TV, Media, and the most amazing hard-working ground crew that made the ground safe and consistent for all events is to be thanked. My hat goes off to all of you for making the 2018 Wrangler NFR an outstanding event.
I continue to make memories with an event that the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is so proud of - the 2018 WPRA Star Celebration. As I stood on the stage, I was so enlightened by the amount of rodeo family we had to celebrate the WPRA Top 15 Wrangler NFR qualifiers. We had over 600 attendees this year! WOW!! The exciting awards given to the Top 15 were amazing. We honored the best in the business including committees, judges, contractors, secretaries, announcers and committees from each circuit with the Justin Best Footing award.
There is so much to be thankful for, as I rewind the 2018 year. The WPRA Sponsors, we couldn’t do it without all of you, our WPRA Office staff, all Circuit Directors, and every outside resource we depend on, thank you for completing another successful year for the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
We have four more Circuits Finals in January to crown their 2018 circuit champion and average winner to earn a spot in the 2019 Ram National Finals Rodeo held in Kissimmee, Florida in March. This is a mini-NFR for our grassroot competitors that have different jobs during the week and find the time to give it their all in rodeo and make their dreams come true. The Ram National Finals Rodeo will be held this year in conjunction with a Country Music Festival having the biggest and the best country singers we all love so dearly. Go to the RNCFR website for more information.
With lots of positive and proactive thinking, LETS ALL BRING IN A HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!