Some of the most popular contestants on the rodeo trail have thrown their hats into another ring.
The Elite Rodeo Association announced itself Monday, with considerable concentration through social media. The ERA is “an innovative new rodeo corporation created and owned by the top rodeo athletes in the world,” the statement read.
A group of contestants was in Austin, Texas, Monday for the introduction of Texas State House of Representatives bill 1440 for consideration of having the ERA world championship event in Dallas. The contestants were all-around champion Trevor Brazile, barrel racer Charmayne James, tie-down ropers Tuf Cooper and Fred Whitfield, bareback rider Bobby Mote and team ropers Clay Tryan, Jade Corkill and Patrick Smith.
The release states the ERA is owned by 55 contestants, 42 of which are world champions. Though the ownership includes existing top cowboys and cowgirls, the release states there is hope for aspiring elite athletes to participate in and earn ownership.
The association “plans to work in cooperation with existing rodeo venues and sports arenas across North America to create an exciting and sought after tour,” the release states.
“By introducing a unique concept like the ERA, it is our hope to increase the awareness of the sport of rodeo on a national stage” said Brazile, a 21‐time world champion and ERA board member. “Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo and building something greater for the future generations of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls is the goal of the ERA. We look forward to working with the entire rodeo industry.”
The seven-member board will consist of three representatives each from roughstock events and timed events and will include one administrative person. The ERA will produce a 15-event regular-season tour beginning in 2016 with all to be broadcast on a national television network, the release states. It will conclude with a five-day championship.