Many of you have been asking if The Rodeo Round Up has been able to find out anything new regarding where the lawsuit between the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) and the Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) organizations stands. While in Las Vegas for the last two weeks I was able to talk with my other media connections as well as some of the athletes involved in the ERA to find out that answer for each and every one of you. I dug as best as I could while still being respectful of the WNFR that was currently going on during that time frame.
What I found out, not only about the lawsuit, was quite eye-opening and made me step back and realize that there is much more behind the scenes issues going on. Even though the main focus is on the current lawsuit situation between these two organizations what happens will trickle down to those contestants involved in both factions as well. There are some tense cowboys and cowgirls that are watching very closely what will be a dramatic effect on who will be in or out of the ERA once the judgement is ruled.
It was announced that there was a change in the date that pertains to the preliminary injunction so that a judgement could be ruled upon prior to the busy start of the 2016 professional rodeo season run. The date has been moved up to a December 29th date that will allow a ruling to come within 30 days from the court date itself. With that being said, as many of you know, that is after the start to at least two major events held early in the season.
There are two major events that the contestants of the ERA would like to join in on if the ruling goes their way, The Denver Stock Show and Rodeo as well as the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, as well as many other events. The PRCA and the ERA have come to an agreement that would still allow the members of the ERA to call in to compete at rodeos in the 2016 season pending the judgement from the December 29th court date.
Now even though the PRCA is allowing these contestants to call in for these rodeos that does not mean that these rodeo stars will be allowed to show up to compete. This all depends on the final outcome and ruling from the court date. This means that these rodeo committees and fans are waiting to see if the members of the ERA that are scheduled to compete will be allowed to. Quite simply if the PRCA wins the judgement that means that those contestants that are part of the ERA will not be allowed to participate and if the ERA wins the judgement they will be allowed to participate in the PRCA season for 2016.
I was able to talk to some of the rodeo contestants that are directly involved in the ERA and have gotten many different views on this situation. I will not be naming specific contestants to protect their identity until they give me the okay to name them individually. With that being said, there are some contestants that have not participated in PRCA rodeos in quite some time that are 100% behind everything the ERA is doing and stands for. These old school cowboys just want to put the money where they think it is deserved and have more say in day to day operations.
On the other side of things, some of the current members of the PRCA and founding members of the ERA who own stock in the organization have some immediate concerns. Once again, without naming names, they voice their concern about the current happenings and how the ERA is handling things on their end. These folks are waiting anxiously to see what the outcome will be to make any hasty decisions that will affect their careers as rodeo contestants. Depending on what happens you will see some shareholders pulling out of the ERA to protect their rodeo careers and continue to participate in PRCA sanctioned events.
I like to keep my reporting on as neutral of a basis as I can in a professional manner and that is what I plan on doing here as well. I will report on the information that is given to me by each side and will lay it out so it is as easy to understand as possible. In my opinion, everything weighs on how the ruling will come down from the December 29th court date. This will either make or break this stalemate and will ultimately decide where contestants, contractors, sponsors and fans will place their loyalties.
I have established many personal connections on both sides of this issue and will continue to support each organization and whatever may come of the situation. As you can well imagine, there will be some turmoil and conflict but everyone will have their own reasons behind their decisions. I do think that both organizations can flourish and be fantastic for the sport of professional rodeo. For that to happen there must be a mutual respect and acknowledgement of the caliber of the athletes in each of the two factions. I hope that this will end in a peaceful manner and everyone can get back to competing for their share of the well-deserved money that is awaiting each of these great athletes!
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