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Planning your PRCA future

by PRCA commissioner Karl Stressman | Apr 14, 2014

As a lot of young people across the country celebrate spring break at school and start mapping out their summer plans, I thought it might be a good time to offer answers to some of the questions we’re asked most here at PRCA headquarters.

Once you turn 18 you can get your PRCA permit, so we hear from a lot of high school seniors and college cowboys wanting to know more about the permit process. You can renew your permit each year as long as you’ve won less than $1,000 on it. Once you’ve won the $1,000 and “filled” your permit, you have a few options. You can get your PRCA contestant card right away, or finish the season on your existing permit and get your card the following year. In that following year, you also have the option to purchase a second permit. Once you’ve filled your second permit, you need to purchase a contestant card—unless you’re going to college. We encourage young people to stay in school and get a good education, so full-time college students can continue to rodeo on their PRCA permits.

When it’s time to start entering rodeos, you’ll find all the entry information you need in the PRCA Business Section of the ProRodeo Sports News. There’s a lot to process and navigate, especially in the early stages of any career when it’s all so new. The PRCA staff is here to help, and it’s also really helpful to ask advice from veteran contestants in your area.

You’ll probably want to put the number to our central entry office, PROCOM—which is 800-234-PRCA—on speed dial. That’s the number to call to enter rodeos, get positions, handle trades and notify the PRCA about turnouts or doctor releases. Questions concerning your membership, account status information (such as entry fees and fines), doctor release paperwork and earnings should be directed to the PRCA member records department at 719-528-4747. Circuit questions should be directed to the PRCA circuit coordinator at 719-528-4705.

The All American ProRodeo Series, presented by Pendleton Whisky, is of particular interest to contestants who rodeo part time for any reason, be it a day job or attending high school or college. Every PRCA rodeo that adds $30,000 or less is automatically part of the series. The All American ProRodeo Finals, presented by Pendleton Whisky, in Waco, Texas, offered a purse of $490,000 last October, and the top 30 cowboys in each event have a shot at winning that money. All earnings from participating All American Series rodeos automatically count toward qualification for the finals.

Those of you competing in the PRCA for the first time will want to familiarize yourselves with the PRCA patch program, to be sure your sponsorships are in compliance. You can find the patch program rules, answers to frequently asked questions regarding sponsorships and the patch application form at http://prorodeo.com/prorodeo/membership/prca-patch-program. You can download PRCA permit forms by going to prorodeo.com, selecting the Membership tab, then Member Self-Service, then Membership again. There, you’ll go to New Members, hit “more” and it’ll take you right to choices that include the PRCA permit and PRCA card application forms. A PRCA permit costs $300 (a PRCA card costs $500), and includes insurance and event rep fees. We’re pretty proud of the fact that PRCA dues have not gone up since 1986, and that we continue to return 88 cents out of every dollar that comes in the door to services that directly benefit our members.

It’s helpful to know that the PRCA rodeo season runs October 1 through September 30. Permits and cards for the new season may be purchased in September for the next season, though permits and cards can be purchased at any time during the season if your plans change. Money won on a PRCA permit does count toward the circuit standings, as long as those earnings are from circuit rodeos and co-approved rodeos in your circuit. So permit-holders are eligible to qualify for circuit finals, assuming all other requirements are met, including circuit count. Permit contestants also are eligible to compete at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Each of the 12 PRCA circuits’ qualified year-end and finals champions advance to the RNCFR, which in 2013 paid out $530,686.

With our circuit system offering benefits to every member of this association, I’m also happy to report that we will be meeting with the circuit presidents at next month’s RNCFR for input on how to distribute the $1.2 million PRCA Circuit System component of the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo contract. We haven’t yet made a decision on how that $1.2 million will be distributed among our 12 circuits, but we’re looking forward to those meetings and discussions during the RNCFR. The opportunities in ProRodeo are at an all-time high, and we look forward to seeing you down the PRCA road.

Courtesy of PRCA