Justin Boots would like to congratulate the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) on an amazing 75 years.
FORT WORTH, Texas, March 14, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Justin Boots would like to congratulate the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA)
on an amazing 75 years. Throughout their 75 years, the WPRA has continuously broken barriers for women in the western industry.
On February 28, 1948, 38 ranch women met with the mission to change the way they were being treated in the male-dominated world of rodeo. These trend-setting ladies banded together to create the very first professional sports association created solely by women for women – the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA). The women were a diverse-but-determined group of ladies that included barrel racers, ropers, roughstock riders, and trick riders, but they garnered strength from each other to take a stand in the rodeo world that held the belief that a female’s place was more in the kitchen than in the rodeo arena.
The group’s primary purpose was to give women legitimate, honest opportunities to compete in all-girl rodeos as well as to establish an alliance with the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA) [later becoming the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)] to host women’s events in conjunction with RCA-sanctioned rodeos. Once the group
drafted and approved rules and regulations and enacted a point system to crown world champions, the GRA board members went to work, persuading rodeo committees and producers to hold women’s contests according to GRA rules.
The year 1959 marked a huge milestone in the rodeo history books with the RCA Board of Directors making the idea of hosting a National Finals Rodeo (NFR) at the end of the season a reality. This became known as the “Super Bowl of Rodeo” in an event that pitted the top 15 contestants against the best livestock in the world. Team roping,
steer roping and barrel racing were not part of the overall NFR held that first year in Dallas, but those three events took part in their own NFR in Clayton, New Mexico. In 1967, the barrel race was featured at the main NFR.
In 1980, the GRA Board of Directors took a stand reminiscent of the original founders requiring all rodeos (beginning with the 1981 rodeo season) to offer at least half the amount they offered for the lowest paying men’s event, which was team roping at the time. Within five years, all rodeos would have to pay equal money to be approved. In the end, 98 percent of the 601 PRCA-approved rodeos met that requirement.
The GRA changed its name to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) in 1982, which continues to stand for the same ideals it stood for in 1948 when it was first conceived as a tool to help like-minded women achieve their common goals.
While barrel racing has taken the lead of the last 75 years as being WPRA’s primary event contested at PRCA-sanctioned rodeos, women’s breakaway roping was introduced in this new context in 2017. In 2020 in partnership with the PRCA, the WPRA agreed to open it up to any sanctioned rodeo wanting to add breakaway roping to its list of events bringing a new spotlight to the event like never before. As a result of the WPRA and PRCA partnership, breakaway ropers now have more opportunities, and the two associations are working to make the event more “rodeo mainstream.”
In their 75 years, the WPRA has broken barriers for women in professional rodeo. A long term WPRA supporter, Justin became a corporate partner of the WPRA in 1993. Justin supports the WPRA’s annual Justin Best Footing Awards program, which is designed to promote the best possible ground (arena conditions) for the barrel racing event. WPRA contestants vote on the best ground and most improved ground within their respective rodeo circuits each year. The top three winning committees in each circuit of the 12 WPRA Pro Rodeo circuits are awarded a cash prize and Justin boots are also awarded to the first place winners. Learn more here.
About Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA)
The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) is the oldest women’s sports organization in the country. The Association started in 1948 with a group of Texas ranch women who wanted to add a little color and femininity to the rough-and-tumble sport of rodeo. A major move at the time, 38 women met in a hotel in San Angelo, Texas, on
February 28, 1948, to change the way they were being treated in the male-dominated world of rodeo. These women banded together to create the very first professional sports association created solely for women by women – the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA). The WPRA, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, provides
opportunities for women across the United States and Canada to compete in the timed events of barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, and tie-down roping. For more information, visit wpra.com.
Facebook: @WomensProRodeo | Instagram: @WPRANow
About Justin Boots
Justin Boots is a brand of western footwear that was founded in 1879 by H.J. Justin. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and produces a wide range of boots for both men and women, including cowboy boots, work boots, and casual shoes. Justin Boots is known for its high-quality craftsmanship and use of premium materials and
has a reputation for being a trusted brand in the western footwear market. For more information, visit justinboots.com.
Facebook: @JustinBoots | Twitter: @JustinBoots | Instagram: @JustinBoots_
Taylor Morton, Justin Boots, 817-348-2894, [email protected]
SOURCE Justin Boots