We checked in with team roping event rep Garrett Tonozzi to get his take on the controversy that would allow rodeo committees to choose five of the six traditional rodeo events for their rodeos, effectively eliminating one entire set of contestants from the rodeos who choose to do so.
"I am 100% against it," Tonozzi said. "I believe rodeo is only rodeo with all of the events. In the long run it will really hurt the membership if they start to get rid of certain events in certain areas across the country. It will really hurt the event reps also. If they (reps) don't want to do something at a certain rodeo because it would hurt their guys, the committee can just say 'Fine we will just get rid of your event.'"
Below is the letter from tie-down roper Joe Parsons making its rounds on social media. We'll follow this story in the coming weeks.
ATTENTION TIE DOWN ROPERS, BAREBACK RIDERS AND PARENTS OF FUTURE PRCA MEMBERS
The PRCA is getting ready to vote on a new bylaw change that will affect rodeo forever.
The existing bylaw is B15.1.14. The new proposal is known as the “Pick 5” rule which means a committee can pick 5 of the six standard events to have at their rodeo. This will make it short of impossible to plan a year out as a contestant since you won’t know what events rodeos have chosen until you see it in the business journal. This is an all-out attack on tie down ropers and bareback riders even though the committees have the tools in place to cancel an event if there is not enough participants. If this passes they will be able to not have an event just because they don’t like it. This proposal is not presented in the spirit that would benefit all members of the association. This is not an animal rights issue, it is the effort by a few committees and contractors to control our association. This same proposal was tried back in the early 1990’s but was defeated because a large group of members got very active and it never made it to the floor for a vote. The only way to stop it now is to let your voice be heard. Contact every board member, sponsor, committee, and PRCA staff and let them know how you feel so this major bylaw change doesn’t pass under the radar. Contestant members, we must all stick together so that every event is represented equally. If a committee doesn’t want to follow our rules they have choices but if this passes many of our members won’t have good choices for their livelihood.
No single event or group of five represents the true history and heritage of rodeo. Cowboys stuck together at Boston Garden and formed the Turtles Association which later became the PRCA. This is a real opportunity to control the destiny of the PRCA and truly show support for each other and the sport we love. It’s time to stick together again to protect the rights and fair opportunities for all members. Let’s speak up and let our voices be heard. —Joe Parsons