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Colorado Springs, Colorado

PRCA photo

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Rodeo History

It is believed that rodeo was born in 1864 when two groups of cowboys from neighboring ranches met in Deer Trail, Colo., to settle an argument over who was the best at performing everyday ranching tasks. That gathering is considered to be the first rodeo by many and the force that started the evolution of a true American sport. Through these daily chores, the sport of rodeo evolved. It can be said that rodeo is the only sport derived from an industry and probably the only one that ever will. Today's professional rodeo cowboy is a bit different from his predecessor from the 1800's, but the ideals and showmanship of long ago are still valued by today's competitors. A cowboy's standing in the rodeo community is still dependent on his skill with a rope or his ability to ride a bucking animal. The cowboy code still dictates that a contestant help his fellow competitors, even though they might be competing for the same paycheck. And while some things have changed since those early days, most of the changes have been for the better. Now the cowboy travels much of the time in custom-made rigs or flies from one rodeo to another either by commercial airline or charter plane. Marketing and business acumen have become as crucial as roping, wrestling or riding skills. Contestants are competing for more money than ever before. Even if a PRCA member doesn't have the inclination to spend more than 200 days a year on the road competing in search of a berth in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo ­ the sport's Super Bowl ­ he can participate in rodeos close to home each year. Many of these "weekend warriors'' and those chasing world titles take their spouses and children along whenever possible, helping to keep the sport close to its family-oriented roots.

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

With no guaranteed salaries or injured reserve provisions in the sport of rodeo, professional rodeo athletes are often left with no place to turn when faced with serious, sidelining injuries and the accompanying financial hardship. Recognizing that serious injuries can be traumatic enough without the additional burden of financial worries, the Justin Boot Company formed a partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) in 1989 to establish the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF). The JCCF's premise is to lend a helping hand to professional rodeo athletes and their families in the event of catastrophic injuries. The fund fills the void of financial hardship when the inevitable serious injury interferes with the careers of those who have dedicated their lives to the sport. Assistance awards are based on the severity of injury, the number of dependents and the applicant's financial situation. The Fund also takes into consideration the individual's involvement in and/or contribution to the sport of professional rodeo. Unique among today's numerous charitable organizations, the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund stands above the rest by dedicating 100 percent of all contributions received for disbursement to eligible applicants. This uncommon practice for a charitable organization is made possible by the joint commitment of the Justin Boot Company and the PRCA, which underwrite all administrative costs associated with managing the JCCF, leaving all monies received through contributions (and as investment earnings) to serve their intended purpose. Through the generous support of donors the JCCF has awarded in excess of $4.1 million given to more than 650 individuals and their families. If you would like more information or the avenue to donate, go to



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Miss Rodeo America

A three-member committee established the contest guidelines and rules for selecting the first lady of professional rodeo. The first Miss Rodeo America Pageant, with nine young women vying for the title, took place in 1955 in Casper, Wyo. In 1956, the pageant moved to Chicago. The following year, it moved again, this time to San Francisco, where Miss Rodeo America 1958 was crowned during the Grand National Rodeo. The still-infant organization made another move in 1959: this time to Las Vegas, where many of the hotels played host to the pageant during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1990, after several moves between Oklahoma and Las Vegas, the pageant returned to Las Vegas, where it is still held today. In January 1992, the organization re-incorporated in Colorado as Miss Rodeo America Inc. and was officially recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as the sole entity to select Miss Rodeo America. The pageant reached another milestone in 1992 when $30,000 in scholarships was awarded to contestants. In 1995, for the first and only time in the history of the pageant, Miss Rodeo America Pageant contestants took part in the opening ceremonies of the NFR at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In 1998, the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation was incorporated to handle the scholarships for the organization. For more information, contact Miss Rodeo America Inc., 27906 Cumbres, Pueblo, Colo., 81006; phone number, (719) 948-9206 or

Since its inception in the mid-1950s, the Miss Rodeo America Pageant has blossomed into one of the premier events held in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Last December in Las Vegas, 28 young women competed over several days to determine the 2007 Miss Rodeo America at the 52nd Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Representing their respective states, the women showcased their talents in horsemanship, appearance, personality, speech, congeniality and the photogenic category. With a capacity crowd on hand at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, 21-year-old Ashley Andrews of Bowman, N.D., won the crown. International Rodeo Management (IRM) developed the concept of a Miss Rodeo America Pageant in 1955. The group recognized that royalty had been a part of rodeo since the sport's pioneer days, and they visualized an opportunity to promote rodeo and the Western way of life through an attractive, intelligent young woman who could sell rodeo to the public.

Ashley Andrews

2007 Miss Rodeo America

Hometown: Date of birth: Appearance: Education: Bowman, N.D. Feb. 11, 1985 Blonde, 5' 8" Andrews is attending the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., pursuing a degree in communications and public relations.




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Other Rodeo Associations

American Junior Rodeo Association

Kelly Edwards 4501 Armstrong San Angelo, TX 76903 (325) 651-2908

National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association

2316 Eastgate N. Street, Suite 160 Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-4402

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

#223, 2116-27th Avenue N.E. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2E 7A6 (403) 250-7440

National Little Britches Rodeo Association

5050 Edison Ave., Ste. #105 Colorado Springs, CO 80915 Phone: 719-389-0333

Senior Pro Rodeo

(National Senior Pro Rodeo Association) 1967 North First St., Suite A Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 375-1400

National High School Rodeo Association

12001 Tejon Street, Suite 128 Denver, CO 80234 (303) 452-0820

Other Contacts

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Information & Tickets

Thomas and Mack Center 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89154 (702) 895-3900 101 Pro Rodeo Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80919 (719) 593-8840

Miss Rodeo America

27906 Cumbres Pueblo, CO 81006 (719) 948-9206

American Quarter Horse Association

P.O. Box 200 Amarillo, TX 79168 (806) 376-4811




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15. PRCA Headquarters 415-418