Little moves back into the lead

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Benette Little has had a fantastic 2012 ProRodeo season.

Benette Little
Benette Little

It got better this week in Houston. Little placed in all three go-rounds and won the average in Super Series 1 at RodeoHouston, collecting $8,050 in the process – Little finished second to Lisa Lockhart in the opening round, split the second-round victory with Lockhart, then won the third round outright.

Keep in mind that unlike the men, money won by the women in Houston will count toward the WPRA’s ProRodeo standings and qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – RodeoHouston is sanctioned by the WPRA but not the PRCA.

Little’s Houston earnings temporarily put her in the No. 1 spot in the world standings, but just a couple hundred dollars over Brittany Pozzi.

Of course, that lead will only remain until Pozzi runs in Reliant Stadium.

Congratulations to the semifinalists from Super Series 1.


Comments (3)
Joe Scully / March 2, 2012

I missed Houston… Such a long hiatus, glad it’s back (and online)

Politically, after all the WPRA – PRCA issues, and the battles over what is expected and accepted (who pays for PRCA Sponsored Awards, etc.), the disdain that members on the PRCA side of seeing people win one “super rodeo” and qualify for the WNFR…

….That the WPRA follow the PRCA’s lead on marquee events?

Like, I get that the WPRA sanctions events that the PRCA doesn’t, but it makes sense that if the PRCA cognissantly makes that choice… they would follow suit?

PWBR is looking good again.

Ted Harbin / March 2, 2012

I’m not sure why the WPRA should follow the PRCA’s lead? Part of the “issue” with Houston, Karl Stressman said, had to do with ground rules, particularly for tie-down roping but also steer wrestling. I learned a year ago that the PRCA told RodeoHouston that it (the PRCA) had an issue with the 20th performance not including the men’s timed event: tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping.

Houston officials said there was never any intent on having the 20th performance sanctioned. In the past, the 20th performance has been an Xtreme Bulls, a college rodeo, etc. Houston was trying to put on a show that would be a big hit with fans and sponsors that would be a benefit to the other 19 performances. Qualifiers come from major rodeos, including Calgary, which also isn’t sanctioned by the PRCA — the PRCA requires team roping at all events, and the Calgary Stampede didn’t want it.

By the time the PRCA-Houston sanctioning issue had run its course for 2011, the WPRA had already sanctioned the event. Obviously there is much less conflict for the WPRA, and, realistically, it’s pretty good marketing to remain associated with RodeoHouston.

I think the split hurt the PRCA — you can’t lose your biggest rodeo without it stinging quite a bit — but was of little affect to Houston. The format remains the same, and it looks to be a pretty good show. Besides, adding that much money to the purse will draw even the most ardent PRCA supporters into the competition.

Joe Scully / March 2, 2012

I don’t refute your facts re: the PRCA’s stance, and I adamantly agree with their position and reasoning, and applaud them for making their decision.  As you said it must “hurt”, and it was a bold step to take. Kudos to them, really. 
I agree that Houston is world class and I enjoy it. It pays massive dividends to competitors and contractors, and our athletes deserve to make these dividends. 
My opinion is that the WPRA should have followed the PRCA’s lead. They’re separate entities, but each enjoy the benefits of each other’s membership and offering to the overall Sanctioned-Rodeo package.  There recently was large disagreement between the two groups over sponsorship and prizing and representation at the WNFR, etc., and really, if they don’t support one another in the political arena, then it’s pretty hard for one to cry foul against the other. 
The PRCA made their stance based on how they felt the format and marketing could adversely affect their Association and their representation of what the Sport is. That, at what is perceived to be 99% of PRCA events, is both associations together… To the layman fan, both organizations are one… To them, if it’s PRCA Rodeo the barrel racing is “PRCA” and WNFR qualifying… The WPRA end of it to them is just an oddity.  You and I know differently, but to the layman fan… It’s PRCA Rodeo counting towards Vegas, and there will be 7 events, barrels included.  Unless you had your finger on the pulse outside of being a cardholder, you’d have no idea what the PWBR was… I know it’s wrong, and the WPRA is an organization with large membership and stoic history, but it is where we sit with the perception of “Professional Rodeo”, in the circles, circuits and markets that I’m familiar with. 
So, if one “partner” thinks it’s bad for business, has an exponentially larger stake to lose and plays that hand, again, my opinion, the other “partner” should follow suit. 
I could go on for days about the rule changes referenced and so forth, and how they’re proven to achieve the opposite of what they’re allegedly intending to achieve, but that has already been purported in this situation. 
The “format” being an addition to Houston… I like the angle that they took by “adding” it and not taking away…
But, we as organizations (even beyond the scope of PRCA and WPRA, and I don’t even speak for those, obviously) are seeing that this “format” of “watered down events” by being regarded as a “success” is being instituted on its own, as a replacement for the full rodeo package as we speak in markets, and as the PRCA has in a round about way stated, it’s bad for business (of the PRCA, and I would suggest most other rodeo sanctioning bodies as well).  
I hope that one day it all comes full circle and bridges are mended and re-crossed.  There is a major disconnect on some of these matters on what will work for all, and right now, the Association is at a major loss, I imagine. They’re not getting their sanctioning fees or any other revenue from these events, I’m guessing, while their standings are used as qualification criteria and ultimately their top-tier competitors are being in essence snatched away by non-fee contributing invitational events (albeit temporarily)… Their top-tier competitors are rewarded, but their bottom-tier competitors don’t receive benefit (by the Association’s growth and downward contribution and seeding investment in grassroot development)  
The competitors need to get paid, but they can only live in the present. The Association is allegedly looking long-term and into the future and sees these breaks from the conformity as potential detriment to tomorrow’s competitor. 
What frustrates the overall situation more in the rodeo world is that the bulk of the membership 
a) aren’t in the top-tier to reap those rewards and 
b) are the timed event competitors that are being “uninvited” from “invitational” events. 
Accepting some, most or all of this, the only way to work towards a solution is to collaboratively do so.  Again, my opinion, if the PRCA said “we don’t think we should be involved…” the WPRA should have ventured that way too.  


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