The rodeo world was turned up side down today with the announcement of a brand new professional rodeo association, Elite Rodeo Association, headed up by current and former elite stars of professional rodeo. There has been talk for months about something like this happening but no one has hinted or said anything about it for almost a year. The announcement today shocked most of the fans and a majority of rodeo contestants alike. Not only was it announced that a new association was formed but along with that came some critical information about those involved in the early stages of making the Elite Rodeo Association come from a dream to a reality.
Tony Garritano, CEO and President of the ERA, said in a press release earlier today, “We believe that rodeo needed an elite tour comprised of only the world’s best rodeo competitors and livestock.” He went on to say, “Due to its business model, the ERA is the only rodeo organization that can truly guarantee appearances of the top talent in professional rodeo. Being owned by the contestants, they are guaranteeing themselves.” It will be interesting as to ow this statement will impact those top tier contestants currently competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and how the season ending Wrangler National Finals Rodeo will be impacted starting this December.
In the Elite Rodeo Associations press release it states ” The ERA is owned by the top 55 rodeo athletes, 42 of which are World Champion Rodeo Cowboys & Cowgirls. While the current ownership includes existing top competitors, the progressive model allows for aspiring elite rodeo athletes to participate and earn ownership in the ERA. 21‐time World Champion Cowboy and ERA Board Member, Trevor Brazile says, “Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo and building something greater for the future generations of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls is the goal of the ERA. We look forward to working with the entire rodeo industry.”
As if the King of the Cowboys, Trevor Brazile, is not enough to catch people’s attention he was joined today at the Texas Legislature meeting with rodeo icons Charmayne James, Fred Whitfield, Tuf Cooper, Bobby Mote, Clay Tryan, Jade Corkill and Patrick Smith who bring with them a combined 54 World Championship titles. When they talk about star power coming together to start this association they are not joking around with these elite rodeo athletes combining for a total of 136 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearances.
Photo Credit: Elite Rodeo Association
They were all at the Texas capital today introducing a bill by Representative Cecil Bell, Jr and co-sponsored by Representatives Johnson, Villalba, and Meyer which will aim to bring the Elite Rodeo Association’s World Championship event to Dallas starting next year at the end of the 2016 season, the first full season of the ERA. The first year will include producing a 15 event regular season tour to be televised on national television ending with a 5-day World Finals event to be held in Dallas.
You can listen and watch the meeting that was held today at the capital for yourself by simply clicking the link here. Find out what Texas leaders and the cowboys behind the Elite Rodeo Association had to say today about the bill to help bring their World Championship event to Dallas. You can also read the entire bill that was brought forth to the legislature today by clicking the link here. The Rodeo Round Up would love to hear your thoughts on today’s announcement which you can do by simply leaving a comment here to tell us your feelings!
With so much happening so far it will be interesting to follow this newly formed Elite Rodeo Association to see what it has in store for us in the future. You can easily do this right along with the Rodeo Round Up by following them on facebook here, or by keeping up to date with all the announcements via their website which you can go to directly by clicking this link here.
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The entire Rodeo Round Up team will be in Arlington, Texas to bring you exclusive interviews and photographs as well as daily recaps live from AT&T Cowboy Stadium during this year’s Professional Bull Rider’s Iron Cowboy VI and the RFD-TV’s The American at the end of the month. We will have exciting behind the scenes coverage from inside one of the greatest stadiums in the world while covering both of these events. Who will be your next 1 million dollar cowboy or cowgirl? Find out by following the Rodeo Round Up’s coverage starting February 27th!