Womens’ Professional Rodeo Association: members can’t own stock in conflicting rodeo groups | TSLN.com

Womens’ Professional Rodeo Association: members can’t own stock in conflicting rodeo groups

Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, South Dakota, and some other big names in barrel racing will be forced to choose between the ERA and the WPRA next year, just like their cowboy comrades did in 2016. Photo courtesy ERA and Impulse Photography

The WPRA is about to follow the PRCA in passing a by-law, to take effect October 1, for the 2017 rodeo season, that all WPRA members who have a financial interest in conflicting rodeo associations cannot compete in WPRA-sanctioned events.

Simply put, the cowgirls who own stock – and thus compete – in the Elite Rodeo Athletes (formerly the Elite Rodeo Association) and are members of the WPRA, will not be able to do both next year, unless they give up their ERA shares.

The PRCA passed such a by-law a year ago, in answer to the ERA’s formation, preventing cowboys who owned stock in the ERA from competing at PRCA events.

In the PRCA’s by-law that went into effect on October 1, 2015, for the 2016 rodeo season, any board members, employees or those with a financial interest in a competing rodeo association could not join or remain a member of the PRCA. The WPRA’s by-law is very similar.

At the time, there were over 70 PRCA cowboys who had presumably obtained stock in the ERA, and because of the by-law, were no longer able to compete at PRCA events.

But the by-law did not apply to the cowgirls, members of the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association. They were able to compete at both events, and some of the biggest names in barrel racing, including the 2014 world champion Fallon Taylor, Lisa Lockhart, Sarah Rose McDonald, and Taylor Jacobs, were doing both events.

Now the WPRA has followed suit with the PRCA.

Fallon Taylor, in a Facebook live post on Sept. 8, announced that the WPRA is putting a “hold” on her membership for next year. The word “hold” might be a misnomer; the WPRA is not banning Taylor from anything, said Janet Cropper, Chief Operating Officer for the WPRA. Rather, the WPRA, like the PRCA, is requiring their members to make a choice: give up their ERA shares and be able to rodeo in the WPRA, or stay exclusively ERA.

Taylor has announced her intention to stay with the ERA, saying she would continue to compete in that association and choose it over the WPRA.

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