January 20, 2014
P.O. Box 263
Dalemead, AB T0J 0V0
To my fellow rodeo members:
Re. Creation of a Professional Rodeo “Players” Association
I have been thinking for a long time now about the future of our great sport of rodeo, the CFR and the future opportunities for our children and grandchildren in rodeo today. As a former world champion and one who cares dearly about our special tradition, I am committed to do something about our future. We must take control of our own destiny. Remember, we are living in a world of rapid change both in sport and in life and we do not want to be left behind.
We all realize that costs to go down the road and compete are escalating. Fuel costs, entry fees, trailer expenses, vet and feed costs just to name a few, are all growing higher and faster than our prize money is. The structure, format and scheduling of rodeos are changing each year and rules change without much input or support from contestants as a whole. The commitment from our younger contestants is also changing. Many of them hold down full time jobs and still train hard both physically and mentally for their event. We are losing good young athletes in our sport.
In the future, I believe that it is fundamentally important to create our own Professional Rodeo Players Association (PRPA). The association must be controlled and managed exclusively by professional rodeo contestants. We have spoken about this for years and now is the time for action. I would personally like to see a Canadian Finals Rodeo that is purely Canadian. Our CFR cannot afford to become an American Circuit Final. Unlike the NFR, our champion is not titled World Champion, they are titled Canadian Champion. For the young Canadian talent, we must look at restructuring the permit system as well as many other rules that affect our sport.
With the creation of our PRPA we will not only have strength in numbers, but we will develop trust and respect for one another and the importance of working together for a common goal and vision. It is very important that we support each other. There are many successful examples of “Player Associations” such as in the NHL and NFL. Just look at where these athletes were ten and fifteen years ago when they did not have a collective group of athletes working together for a common purpose. The PRPA would include membership dues which could then be used to develop a future pension fund and appropriate insurance programs. Coming together for common goals would give us more opportunities for direct influence and input into many aspects of our sport. We need to leave the talented business minds to manage the rodeos and us to manage the affairs of the contestants, the relationships we have with the CPRA and the conditions under which we are prepared to compete. This is in no way being presented to you for your consideration for any personal gains whatsoever, but for our future rodeo contestants.
It is very difficult to express all of my ideas and concerns in this brief letter, but we need to start somewhere. We are very fortunate to have grown up in the great sport of rodeo. We must all remember that rodeos and ranches laid the foundation for this great nation and therefore, our history and heritage is not only important for the past but more so for the future. Now is this time for action! Now is the time to get together to discuss the future of our sport as contestants! It would be great if we could have something in place by 2015! Can I count on your support?
Thank you for your attention and support,
World Steer Wrestling Champion 1992
For questions or more information contact me at 406-465-9458 or firstname.lastname@example.org