PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman addresses the media Oct. 26 in Chihuahua, Mexico before signing an agreement with Manuel Russek Valles, Secretary of Economy of Chihuahua Government, left, and Mexican Rodeo Federation President Guillermo “Memo” Herrera, right, to co-sanction rodeos in Mexico during the 2016 season.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With an agreement that will be mutually beneficial, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Mexican Rodeo Federation have signed a contract to co-sanction events in 2016.
About 15 events are tentatively scheduled – to be capped by a Finals – with the top performers from the season and the Finals qualifying for the annual RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla.
PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman and Mexican Rodeo Federation President Guillermo “Memo” Herrera signed the contract Oct. 26 at the Government Palace of Chihuahua in Chihuahua, Mexico.
“By opening our doors to the country of Mexico, it will provide a great opportunity for the PRCA to reach a whole new fan base and another source of new members and contestants,” Stressman said. “This will also allow our current members the chance to compete in another part of North America.”
Herrera said the partnership will benefit Mexican contestants, as well as the Federation.
“The PRCA is a dream of any rodeo cowboy and cowgirl in the world, and Mexico is not an exception,” Herrera said. “I am so excited to be able to facilitate the opportunity for our Mexican kids, cowboys and cowgirls to experience this dream.”
And now Mexico’s best contestants may dream even bigger, with the ultimate goal of reaching the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Everybody knows of the NFR, its champions and legends,” Herrera said. “The opportunity to step in the same arena with your heroes, or better yet, to be able to compete with them, just that hope will be a great motivator.”
Herrera said the Mexican cowboys and cowgirls who qualify for the RNCFR – two in each event, which includes the season leader and the champion from the Finals rodeo – in Kissimmee will also be honored by that opportunity. And the community leaders of Osceola County, Florida, who were instrumental in bringing the RNCFR to Kissimmee, are also excited by this new venture.
“We are thrilled at the news and look forward to welcoming those contestants to our community,” said Osceola Deputy County Manager Beth Knight. “The agreement with Mexico and inclusion of those contestants will further enhance the RNCFR and will solidify a whole new fan base. Congratulations to both the PRCA and the Mexican Rodeo Federation.”
Commissioner Stressman believes the co-sanctioning agreement with the Mexican Rodeo Federation could lead to further expansion of the PRCA.
“We have had inquiries from other countries about the possibility of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association being involved in different areas of the world,” Stressman said. “Now that we have formed not only a partnership, but a friendship with the Mexican Federation, it’s important to us to create a footprint, to go international with professional rodeo.
“This is the first stepping stone or attempt to figure out whether in fact that footprint will work. I strongly believe that it will. I believe in the partnership with Mexico and with the friendship that we’ve developed.
“But that’s not the end of it. That’s not the end of the PRCA and international partnerships. Rodeo is certainly somewhat of an international product, but it can be bigger.”