Taking The Next Step – How to get your Pro Rodeo card.

You’ve been barrel racing for years, you’ve won some hefty checks & you travel anywhere from all over your state to Georgia & beyond to compete at huge super shows & NBHA World Finals. You’re confident in your running style & have an unbreakable bond between you & your horses; an understanding, an agreement & of course, some treats along the way. Maybe its time to give it a shot with the big dogs, maybe you are ready to stop being be a big fish in a little pond.

Nellie Miller at the 2017 RNCFR

So what is the next steps? What do you have to do to get your WPRA (Women’s Pro Rodeo Association) card? Well, it’s easy & it’s not so easy at the same time if that makes any sense at all. The membership forms are readily available for download so you can print your application & mail/fax it in. Membership is only open to women aged 18 or older, with the exception of the Junior WPRA and the 17 & Under Roping programs.

Directly from the WPRA website:

The majority of members in the WPRA are barrel racers who wish to compete in the WPRA barrel races held at PRCA rodeos. New members who are interested in barrel racing at PRCA rodeos must start their membership in the WPRA with a permit. The WPRA rules require that you win $1000 in WPRA competition before you are eligible to buy your WPRA card. 

The WPRA Roping Division focuses on the All Women’s rodeo events; Breakaway, Tie Down, and Team Roping. There is a separate roping membership as well as a 17 and under roping membership that does not allow you to compete in WPRA barrel races held at PRCA rodeos.

The WPRA Junior Barrel Membership was created to develop young members (18 and under) through Divisional Circuit Co-Approved Jackpots  and to prepare our young members to enter the world of professional rodeo. 

Mary Walker at the 2016 Wrangler PRCA Champions Challenge

So let’s talk about getting your permit.

There is a fantastic set of tips and information on WPRA Permits 101 which is filled with easy to read information that you can refer back to at any point in time. We stated earlier that you must win $1000 in WPRA competitions before you are eligible for your WPRA card. As permit holder you can run & try to win money at any of the regular season WPRA approved rodeos OR in the 1D at WPRA Divisional Circuit Co-approved jackpot races. The permit is $325 & is the same application form as the card, just make sure you are checking the correct box, or it’s wasted money. I like this idea because you get a taste for the rodeo road without committing to the entire season. If you give a shot & it turns out successful, then onto getting your card you go. If you find that its not for you or one of your horses and you want to work on some learning, growing and training, it was still a great opportunity to give it a try & head back to the drawing board with specifics in mind.

Megan Warren-Swint at the 137th Silver Spurs Rodeo

I thoroughly recommend reading the WPRA tip sheet as much as you can. It will be part of your rodeo bible along with the 2019 WPRA Rule Book & will definitely get you ahead of the learning curve.

You can find the schedule for 2019 right here – it is split into 2 schedules. All events & Pro Rodeos only. There might be a local WPRA approved event near you in the “All Events” schedule. Check it out!

Being a member of the WPRA is more than just running barrels. It is a community with wonderful benefits & you’ll expand your equestrian family with all the new people you meet and friends you make. Rodeo is alive & well but anything is one generation away from disappearing. So keep up the great work & get your kids involved too while they are young, so they are ready to hit the ground running when it’s time.

Are you thinking about getting your WPRA permit or card? Comment below! We would love to cheer you on!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Stay safe & God Bless!

~~International Cowgirl

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