It was only a matter of time until the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association flexed their muscles regarding the status of those cowgirls that have ties with the first year association, Elite Rodeo Athletes. Earlier this year prior to the start of the 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association season they announced that any shareholder of the competing organization would not be allowed to compete in the season or have an option to be a card holder. As we all know that whole ordeal became quite the legal battle but has since died down to a quiet whisper.
Today’s announcement did not come as a huge shock to those that have been following this story for the last year but the timing of it raised a few eyebrows. That being said one of the most iconic figures in professional rodeo took to her social media pages this afternoon to let everyone know what had just happened and how this is being interpreted on the cowgirls side of things. Although neither the WPRA nor the ERA have made any official statements but we did reach out to them to find out what exactly this historic decision means.
Fallon Taylor And Jason Hetland At The 2015 WNFR
Barrel racing superstar Fallon Taylor took to her social media sites earlier today to announce that the WPRA has sanctioned any barrel racer with shareholder ties to the ERA would not be able to obtain a card for compete in their sanctioned events starting in the 2017 season. Taylor is not the only top rodeo cowgirl to come forward and make a statement on this issue throughout the day when three others currently in the top 15 in the world standings shared their opinions and statements on this as well.
Fallon Taylor previously announced that all other Elite Rodeo Athletes tour stops had been cancelled up until the first ever ERA World Finals to take place in Dallas, Texas this coming November. That being said I found it very interesting to hear the major support the ERA still has from top rodeo athletes both male and female. It is clearly known through both the PRCA and now the WPRA that if you compete for the ERA you will not be welcomed in their associations. This will make the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo one to witness if you are a barrel racing fan!
Today’s news caused us to begin to ask a few questions as to the fortune of the current ERA barrel racers that are within the top 15 in the WPRA standings as we head into the WNFR this December. We were able to reach out for statements from both associations and with the Elite Rodeo Athletes declining to comment the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association did clear up a few of the important details for us without making an official statement.
The breakdown goes like this; those cowgirls currently in the top 15 that include Fallon Taylor, Lisa Lockhart, Sarah Rose McDonald and Taylor Jacob would not be affected by this. Simply put the current 2016 season will remain the way it is and that this rule will not take effect until the beginning of the 2017 WPRA season. Everything can be summarized by simply saying that any WPRA member can not hold shares in ANY competing organization or they will not be allowed to participate in the upcoming 2017 season.
This will be interesting to watch how everything shakes down throughout the remainder of the year since the ERA organization has officially cancelled all remaining events until their World Finals. That announcement alone start a ton of speculation as the the status of the organization itself. Rumors have been flying and now with this imposed sanction on the athletes the question remains how many will sell their shares back and compete once again for the WPRA and the PRCA. We shall see and all of this will make for an exciting 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo that the Rodeo Round Up will be live to cover from Las Vegas!
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