ORA Press Release
Dear ORA Members,
For 60 years the Ontario Rodeo Association has had its ups and downs. Last year we had one of our best finals ever. Hard to believe 60 years has gone by, as we start each new generation and say happy trails to some of our original members.
Rodeo struggles in today's society with the western heritage losing some of its appeal. But the cowboy lives on, and our love for the sport, our animals, and community lives on too. Every sport must evolve with the new age. For 2017, we have a wonderful new opportunity to help rodeo grow in Ontario, as it is become increasingly difficult for the "little guy" to survive.
In order to keep our Ontario rodeo community alive, the Ontario Rodeo Association is amalgamating with the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA). For the Association, things have come to a difficult point due to insurance conflicts. To be able to protect our producers, competitors, and volunteer to keep rodeos alive in Ontario, the Association was required to have insurance for our members. Financially, this is not feasible for our non-for profit association, or for our members with what the membership price would have to increase by. Fortunately, our Ontario producers have given us the opportunity to partner with them to maintain and grow our Ontario rodeo community for years to come.
Our new partnership allows competitors to only have to purchase 1 membership card, either the IPRA Canada card or the IPRA World card. With either of these cards, competitors have insurance benefits to compete safely, are able to compete at IPRA sanctioned rodeos anywhere in Canada, qualify for the Canada finals, or with the world card, the International Finals Rodeo. In order to maintain our Ontario identity, Ontario will become a region within IPRA, with standing earnings being accumulated for anyone with an Ontario residence holding the IPRA Canada or World card.
The board will be working alongside Rawhide Rodeo to continue to put on the Ontario Finals Rodeo every year, with the goal of growing our Ontario membership base, and greater added money at our finals!
Please know this was not a decision made lightly. All options were explored, and the board has worked hard to do what's best for its members, and Ontario Rodeo's future. For 2017 members, you will be contacted shortly in regards to rectifying your 2017 membership purchase. All standings/earnings will be honoured from the two Ranch Rodeos that were ORA sanctioned and count towards the 2017 OFR.
We are looking forward to another great season and putting on the 60th Ontario Finals Rodeo this fall!
Ontario Rodeo Association Board of Directors