A National Call to Action by the Women of Professional Barrel Racing
September 01, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsColorado Springs, CO – August 30, 2006 – The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) today announced that it would actively defend the rights of its women members and their association against the hostile actions taken by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). The PRCA board of directors voted on August 16th to sever its partnership of 60 years, and form a competing subsidiary.
"Throughout the years we allowed the PRCA to utilize our efforts, our women athletes and our association to further the rodeo brand and reap the economic rewards. Now, without notice or further negotiation, they have decided to toss the organization aside and actively block our business opportunities," said Jymmy Kay Davis, President of the WPRA.
The abrupt decision had been preceded by months of failed attempts by the WPRA to identify and rectify the concerns of the PRCA. "We were under the impression that the communication line was open but never received a defined proposal or the accurate financial details to justify their demands", stated Davis.
The WPRA, one of the oldest women sports organizations, has nearly 2000 members and sanctions over 600 barrel racings across the nation. The PRCA will look to take over the WPRA members and its sanctioned rodeos by implementing and activating rules that would preclude an event from sanctioning their organization. The PRCA has also ousted them from the culminating Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas beginning in 2007.
"This is an atrocity to the sport and the women athletes of professional rodeo" said Tammy Key, a top barrel racing competitor and director of the WPRA. "Our organization has been representing the women of our sport, standardizing our competition and ensuring a professional environment for decades…and it has been doing a great job."
The WPRA plans on following all possible recourse to protect its business, its members and its relationships with the fans and the rodeo committees. It is not going to take this lightly.
"From its inception, this organization has had to fight again and again to maintain its existence and autonomy; to protect its all women sanctity; and to ensure equal prize money. We believe that the committees, the sponsors and the public will not allow the maverick business practices of yester years to go unchecked’ said Jymmy Kay Davis. "So in turn we are asking for a ‘National Call to Action’ for our Women Athletes."
Please visit www.wpra.com to show your support and find out how you can help the cause.
About the WPRA
The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is one of the oldest, organized women’s professional sports organizations in the country. Founded in 1948 in San Angelo, Texas by a group of thirty-eight ladies, the primary purpose of the original Girls Rodeo Association was to give women legitimate, honest opportunities to compete in rodeo events. In its inaugural year the GRA had seventy-four members and held sixty events across the country.
The GRA changed its name to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association in 1981. Its purpose remained the same: to protect and promote women in professional rodeo competition. Throughout its history, the WPRA and its members have fought for equal rights within the rodeo world. Today, the WPRA has more than two thousand members and sanctions more than six hundred barrel races a year, representing total pay-offs of more than $5 million.
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