By Doreen Wintermute
January 1, 2018
The 2017 year has come to an end and what a year it was with so many things to be thankful for and celebrate.
I would like to wish all of you a healthy, and happy 2018 New Year. There is nothing better then coming off the December month celebrating the holidays and experiencing another awesome year in Las Vegas at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! We saw arena records, we had the leaderboard change every night, we had the best Top 15 show their talent, with the best equine athletes. Congratulations to Nellie Miller for taking the title as the 2017 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion. It was amazing to watch!!!
The most memorable moment I had was at the 2017 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Star Celebration. We had the largest turnout in the history of the WPRA with a count of over 600 attendees to come Celebrate the 2017 WPRA Top 15 qualified. Their Determination, Dedication, Professionalism, and hard work makes them the best in the World! I want to say thank you to all our sponsor and members as we had an amazing 2017 year and appears 2018 will be even bigger and better as long as we continue to work as a team to make this Association the best it can be. We are strong and we couldn’t gain strength without our sponsor partnership. As I had the opportunity to visit and see our rodeo committees, stock contractors, judges, secretaries, timers and every volunteer that puts their heart and souls into rodeo, I praise all of you - the PRCA/WPRA membership could not do what we love without any of you. It was so incredible to see everyone that attended the 2017 WPRA Star Celebration, I felt so Blessed to be a part of a great event.
I would also like to commend the Top 15 for competing for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award at the Wrangler NFR. I thought everyone helped bring lots of color and style to the event. A special congrats to the top three winners - Kimmie Wall, Tiany Schuster and Kathy Grimes. Great job ladies. Keep it up and don't forget to bring your bling to Fort Worth for another shot at the title.
The field for the 2018 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo will be set in mid-January after the conclusion of the Montana and First Frontier Circuit Finals. The Texas Circuit wrapped up their season on Dec. 30 crowning their average and year-end champion and two more punched their tickets to Kissimmee, Fla., in April.
Who will be next? Help us determine who the next WPRA inductees will be to earn enshrinement into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. We are currently taking applications for the 2018 inductees and nominations are due by Jan. 31. The forms can be found at www.wpra.com. Take a moment to send in your nominations to whom you think (individual or equine partner) has the history and success in rodeo that deserves this honor.
This is a very humbling time of year for me, as I rewind many memories, I feel so grateful to be the President of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association!