Karl Stressman, commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, made an announcement earlier today that sent shock waves throughout the western lifestyle community. For nine years, since 2008, this organization has been lead by Stressman who has had a hand in many things that have been discussed at great length as well as many situations that could have changed the sport of professional rodeo forever. All in all we have seen tremendous change within the PRCA that many see as both good and bad for the paying members of the PRCA and all those involved in putting on events around the country.
When Karl Stressman came into his position the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association was close to declaring bankruptcy and with his leadership and guidance the organization began to thrive once again. While sitting in the commissioner’s position he secured the future for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to remain in Las Vegas amid speculation and uprising. Although the hard decisions had to be made he had to be the man to make them and that being said, the rule of thumb goes ….. you can not please everyone.
Along with all of the drama that came along with his decisions which some absolutely did not agree with, we can all come together and agree with the line he has taken to preserve our sport for years to come. Karl Stressman played a major roll in bringing the young up and coming superstars into the professional rodeo limelight with bringing the Junior National Finals Rodeo to the forefront. That being said, no matter what one thinks of the man himself or the choices he made we can all come together and agree that this can be chalked up as a huge accomplishment for his time in the commissioner’s position.
As Stressman sits back and ponders all of the things that have happened he said, “I sat down in the Commissioner’s chair for the first time in September 2008, and I made a promise to myself that I would give my very best efforts each and every day to improve the sport of Professional Rodeo.” After taking a couple of deep breaths he went on to say, “I made myself another promise that I would stay at the PRCA as long as I enjoyed the job. Well, it’s time to say goodbye! I will be retiring at the end of 2017, after completing my 10th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as Commissioner of the PRCA.”
As we all look back at what could have been with the formation of the Elite Rodeo Athletes organization and the court battles that ensued with those members competing I am happy to see everything come back together the way it was as we head into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this coming December as we finish out the season and Commissioner Stressman’s tenure with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association on a high note. As he begins to look towards his last WNFR he smiled and said, “It has been my privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the members, our committees, our great sponsors and the best fans in the sporting world. I thank you all for the opportunity! Long Live Cowboys!”
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