AUSTIN, TEXAS- World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) and The United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA) are proud to announce they have joined forces in a collaborated goal to multiply chances for rodeo athletes to earn greater payouts at marquee events throughout the year.

“The UPRA currently provides a place for rising stars as well as those with professional skill levels who may choose a limited travel schedule,” said WCRA President, Bobby Mote. “This alliance means that UPRA members can maximize their efforts and possibly compete in four Semifinals and four majors each year in addition to the UPRA finals”

The membership of the UPRA has grown from 321 contestants in 1995 to a little more than 1,400 contestants in 2018. The association will approve 287 rodeos in 2018 while paying out over $4.6 million dollars to contestants. Each year, the UPRA ends its rodeo season with the Cinch United Finals Rodeo (CUFR) held the third weekend of November in Sulphur Springs, Texas. The 2018 CUFR will feature over $150,000.00 Added and Bonus Money, with the total cash and prizes to well over $270,000.00.

“We are extremely excited about the alliance with the WCRA,” said UPRA President Jerry Hill. “Our membership includes current champions, past champions and we believe many future champions that can compete at any level who we are very proud of. The alliance will offer these athletes another avenue to showcase their talents and the opportunity to compete at additional $500,000 events and possibly qualify for multiple $1 million events.”

In early May, WCRA announced the major rodeo events series that will award $6 million to competitors, an innovative virtual qualification app and world ranking system for athletes to qualify for high-payout rodeos, and other growth initiatives for the industry.

The $6 million in payouts will be comprised of four large rodeos each featuring a $1-million purse. Four semi-final qualifier events will provide the additional $2 million in prize money. Qualifying will be based on points, rather than dollars won, through a new world ranking points system – the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) available at app.wcrarodeo.com.

The first WCRA $500,000 semi-final event is scheduled for November 15-18, 2018 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK, followed by the first WCRA $1-million major rodeo in January 2019. Additional 2019 WCRA large-payout events will be announced at a later date.

-WCRA-

About WCRA

WCRA is a professional sport and entertainment entity, created to develop and advance the sport of rodeo by aligning all levels of competition. In association with PBR, WCRA produces major rodeo events, developing additional opportunities for rodeo industry competitors, stakeholders and fans. To learn more visit wcrarodeo.com. For athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier, visit app.wcrarodeo.com

About UPRA

The United Professional Rodeo Association is a combination of several long standing successful regional associations with great rodeo history across the southern United States. In 1995, the Texas Professional Rodeo Association and Central Rodeo Association merged their assets to form the United Professional Rodeo Association; in 2014 the Texas Cowboys Rodeo Associated joined the United Professional Rodeo Association. The Texas Rodeo Association was created in 1961, the Central Rodeo Association was created in 1956 and the Texas Cowboy Rodeo Association was created in 1983, the combination of associations brings 107 years of rodeo history to the United Professional Rodeo Association.  We continue this journey as Past, Present and Future Cowboys and Cowgirls working to preserve the sport of rodeo. For more information please visit www.urodeo.com