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TBRA Heads into the New Year
story by Lori O’Harver
In life, you’re either moving forward or getting left behind and the ancient art of bronc riding is no exception. The Texas Bronc Riders Association works hard to strengthen the foundation of the riding community and is always spearheading growth opportunities.
With the help of the following visionary organizations and friends, here’s what the TBRA is excited about bringing to bronc riding nation in our second year of operation.
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (FWSSR) has supported TBRA from the beginning. In 2017, our finals will be hosted at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Look for us in the W.R. Watt Arena on November 11 and 12.
“We’re very excited about the potential of the TBRA and impact the organization can have on the future of rodeo. It’s not just about bronc riding, it’s about our youth learning proper safety and chute procedure to keep them healthy as they participate in the sport. We are truly impressed by the focus on scholarships for high school contestants. At the end of the day, no rodeo career lasts forever. The scholarship program will result in providing sustainable assets a young cowboy can use when that career ends,” said Brad Barnes, president of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
The Mini Saddle Bronc Riding World Championship (MSBRWC) started with 6-year-old Bronc Ryder DeMers, the son of Joe and Lacie DeMers. When he convinced his parents he wanted to be a bronc rider, they bought him a practice pony. Soon, kids were banging down their door wanting to get on that pony. It wasn’t long before the DeMers’ had a string of mini buckers and the idea for their organization. It has caught on like wildfire; they buck upwards of 120 ponies an event.
Last year’s first MSBRWC finals had contestants between the ages of 8 and 14 from Texas to Canada and everywhere in between.
“We’re encouraged by the growth we’ve seen in a short period of time. When my son started riding, there weren’t bronc saddles made for little guys. Since then, there are great saddles being made by Lazy J Rodeo Safety Equipment that are affordable and fit these young riders. It’s also gratifying to give jobs to the rotten little ponies who have found new purpose doing what they were always in trouble for.”
The TBRA is proud to be hosting the newly formed Texas Region of the MSBRWC and will hold qualifying events at regular season rodeos up and down the Red River Corridor.
“We’re thrilled that the TBRA has stepped on board and see this as a way to get kids who will stay loyal to their event started safely,” said Lacie DeMers. “We’ve had inquiries from Brazil and Australia about starting chapters to qualify for our finals. We’re honored to be a part of building future bronc riders.”
Not since the talented and glamorous ladies of bronc riding of the ‘30s and ‘40s have bucking horses gained so much attention from the cowgirls. Ladies Ranch Bronc Riding is growing in popularity across North America. For the first time ever, they’ll compete within the sanction of the TBRA and have their own point season and finals. Historic advances for the women of the oxbows.
“This is a great deal. It’s not often I get to enter a women’s event, especially one that has the potential to qualify for a great finals like the TBRA’s. I believe this will be a great opportunity for the growth of ranch bronc riding by bringing more of the women who’ve shown interest but had nowhere to go. There are some handy girls in Texas. This will be fun to watch unfold,” said Brittany Miller, Montana ranch bronc rider.