ProRodeo Sports News

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Quieting ProRodeo's rumor mill with the facts

There are always a few hot topics of discussion circulating in the rodeo world, and it’s helpful to stick to the facts. One subject that’s received a lot of claims and posts on social media platforms recently is in regard to the PRCA having a two-card system in place for 2014.

People have actually posted as fact that in 2014 our members will have to choose between a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo card, which would make them eligible to qualify for the Wrangler NFR but would prohibit them from participating in some non-sanctioned events, and a second-level PRCA card that would allow them to compete at those non-sanctioned events but not the NFR.

As this issue of the ProRodeo Sports News hits the streets the week of the start of the 2014 regular season, the fact is that no such proposal is or ever has been on the books. The tiering of the rodeo business is something that’s been discussed by multiple administrations over the years, but this two-card system that so many have posted as fact is, in fact, fiction as written and at this time. 

The place to find the facts on any such rule proposals is in the PRCA Business Section of this magazine, which is the official publication of your association. There is a process in place, and part of that process is total transparency. In the PRCA Business Section of the PSN, you can see what changes are being proposed, who proposed them and their current status. I would encourage everyone in our rodeo business to please confirm everything with potential negative and harmful effects on this industry before posting such statements as fact, because disregarding that basic responsibility of due diligence causes damage and a potential negative impact none of us needs. Please remember that our sponsors and fans are on social media, too, and that they rely on us for the facts. If in doubt, please at the very least call the event rep that you elected to represent you and ask him for confirmation. It’s his job to stay current with the facts.

Another hot topic is the 2014 PRCA Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots. It’s not an accident that the Champions Challenge showcases our top cowboy athletes. Our sponsor partners, who are investing heavily in every aspect of our game, had a lot of input into the format, both in terms of the live events and television package. It’s important to them to deliver the top talent on every telecast, as many believe that’s the key to growing our sport at the highest level.

The facts on which 10 guys in each event qualify to compete in the 2014 Wrangler Champions Challenge are as follows: The top seven from the final 2013 PRCA world standings; the previous year’s host committee’s champion in each event; the current world standings leader as of 30 days prior to each Champions Challenge rodeo; and the current Wrangler Million Dollar Tour presented by Justin Boots leader 30 days out. We will have 10 Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots events in 2014, plus a championship rodeo. 

The nine 2014 Champions Challenge events that are confirmed to date include: Kissimmee, Fla., Oct. 5, 2013; Winnie, Texas, Oct. 31, 2013; Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 4, 2014; Scottsdale, Ariz., March 1; Wichita, Kan., May 10; Redding, Calif., May 17; Spanish Fork, Utah, May 31; Puyallup, Wash., Sept. 7; Amarillo, Texas, Sept. 17. The 10th event and details on the Wrangler Champions Challenge championship will be announced when confirmed.

The future of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is another subject that’s getting a lot of attention in our industry right now.

The current Wrangler NFR contract runs through 2014, and negotiations with our partners in Las Vegas are ongoing. This year’s $6.25 million NFR will run Dec. 5-14. The $6.375 million 2014 Wrangler NFR is slated for Dec. 4-13. The Wrangler NFR will continue to grow every year, and we will make announcements for 2015 and beyond as appropriate, after contracts are signed and the facts are firm.
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