Zack Jongbloed left Louisiana High School Rodeo with his second All Around title. The 17-year-old cowboy from Iowa is competing in tie down and steer […]
Elite Rodeo Athletes Make Changes to Deliver Exceptional Rodeo Product
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
In an effort to continue to deliver the best rodeo product in the world to its fans, Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA), announces changes to its 2016 tour. In a special produced by Western Sports Roundup, interim president Bobby Motes, ERA consultant Randy Bernard, and ERA barrel racing contestant Fallon Taylor shared their views on the future of the ERA.
Randy, who was the driving force behind THE AMERICAN, has been a friend of ERA since its inception said, “There’s room for it,” he said. “I am for anything that is for the betterment of rodeo. I believe it is the one sport that still hasn’t seen its full potential and the ERA has the right idea of showcasing the best talent in the sport.” Randy has passed the torch on with respect to THE AMERICAN, and is now working for Garth Brooks. “I’ve got a great boss that will let me do this for the love of the sport,” he said. “ All boats rise on a high tide. And when 71 of your best walk out that’s what happens. We want to develop stars and make it a bigger sport.”
The plan for 2017 is to continue the momentum that the ERA has started – it’s about the cowboy, the fan, and the committee. The ERA has set up the schedule to allow cowboys and cowgirls to get into town a few days early and make the connection between the contestant and the fan. “It’s a meet and greet before every event,” said Bobby. “I love to compete and I love being a dad, and this has allowed me to do both.”
For Fallon Taylor the fan interaction fits her mission – changing one life a day. “Spending time with fan interaction helps the sport of rodeo grow,” she said, from Pendleton, Oregon, where she will compete.. “Next year I will be strictly ERA and the barrel races that I put on across the country. I love not hauling 90,000 miles a year and I love coming to town several days in advance and spending time with the community and the committee.” Fallon has been able to let Baby Flo rest between events. “I don’t want to live any differently,” she said.
Bobby is excited about the future of the ERA. “Our objective was to create a rodeo product that will showcase an amazing group of rodeo athletes that are committed to this – show up early and stay late.”
The 2016 ERA World Championships will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas as planned, but there will now be three performances on November 11, 12 and 13 only. “We have adjusted our Championship to make it more fan friendly, and also to allow us to do something exciting that fans have been asking for,” said ERA Athlete Bobby Mote. ERA has slated to make a more detailed announcement next week on RFD-TV.
Fans who have already purchased tickets to the Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10 performances, whether individually, or in a set, will be contacted and issued a refund automatically. All ticketing fees (except UPS and retail pickup fees) will be refunded. If you purchased tickets at a retail location, please return the tickets to the same location. Ticket holders with questions can call Ticketmaster directly at 800-653-8000. The November 11-13 performances are not affected. ERA ticket holders that have been inconvenienced by this change will receive exclusive opportunities during the finals as a thank you for their support.
No changes have been made to the ERA Qualifying Series in Mesquite. The finals will take place October 1-2 at the legendary Mesquite Championship Arena. The top two athletes in each event will progress to the American Airlines Center to compete against ERA tour athletes in the 2016 ERA World Championship.
Planning for the 2017 ERA Tour is under way. Rancy says that one change fans will notice is that some ERA athletes will relinquish their stock in the ERA so that they can compete anywhere they want. “It is ERA’s first priority to take care of its cowboys, sponsors and fans. We want the best rodeo athletes to showcase their talent everywhere. When there is an ERA event we want fans to know that the best in the world are guaranteed to be at each performance. Whether the athletes own stock or not, it does not change their commitment to the ERA,” said Bernard.
ERA plans on releasing the 2017 tour schedule later this year. For more information about ERA, visit ERArodeo.com or follow ERA on its social media channels (Twitter: @ERARodeo, Facebook: ERA Rodeo, Instagram: @erarodeo).