The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association comes to town this weekend and it’s a whole different animal than the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, in a good way.
The PRCA brought some spectacular talent to the town, and the WPRA can do the same in time.
In a conversation with a member of the board of directors of the WPRA, Roping Director Patti McCutchen spoke to the PVT about the future intentions of the WPRA in Pahrump.
McCutchen was honest and said in this first rodeo we will not get the top talent, but she said the word is out about the town. She said this first rodeo is an excellent opportunity for those who want to break into the Wilderness Circuit of the WPRA, which encompasses Nevada, Utah and the southern part of Idaho.
“Last year we did not give a roping award in that circuit. This is a good opportunity for girls into roping, but they just might not realize it. There are just not many who know this and I have been trying to get the word out that this is a prime opportunity for this circuit.”
The rules are different from PRCA rules. In WPRA, it is not necessary to earn the $1,000 to be a card-carrying member in roping.
Rodeo organizer, “Cowboy Ken” Pyle explains, “They did not have any female headers last year that got into it. Doing what we are doing in Pahrump opens it up so that the girls around here have a chance to get into the WPRA as a header. If they make it this weekend, they are locked into the WPRA and can go anywhere in the nation. The card can be bought, but it’s the points. The best of the best can go all over the country. It’s totally different.”
For clarification, WPRA members can elect to participate in PRCA rodeos as barrel racers and therefore must start their membership with a permit. The WPRA rule requires each member to win $1,000 in WPRA competition before she is eligible to purchase a WPRA card.
This is not so in the roping division because WPRA ropers don’t compete in PRCA rodeos, and therefore do not need to win $1,000 before getting their card.
McCutchen implied this first rodeo will not be the last WPRA in Pahrump.
“We just need to hang on and try to build it up. I think it would be a nice event. The cancer benefit is a very good cause. I am thinking you are going to need more girls there, but it is the first year and you’re just going to have to build. We have to start small, if we timed it just right, there are lots of girls that can show up.”
She also said the town will not be judged harshly if this rodeo is not successful the first time around. She said she understands this weekend is a busy weekend in the WPRA with champions trying to win large amounts of cash and a truck in different parts of the country.
As for the prize money in this rodeo, McCutchen said, “There is an added $100 in each event and the prize money will depend on how many people enter. The booth will be open until Saturday morning for entries.
She said there is a number 10 team roping event on Saturday and a 5-D barrel race on Saturday morning.
Pahrump’s Building and Grounds Supervisor Matt Luis says the arena is primed and ready for the weekend event. Crews have tilled the arena down eight inches and leveled it out. He said it takes crews three times a week to keep it in good condition. This weekend they have paid special attention to it because of the rodeo and this means extra help.
“When we have special events the Tibbits family steps up along with the arena advisory committee and gives us a hand,” he said.