International Professional Rodeo Association is All Aboard the Instant Replay Train

The IPRA announced March 20, 2023, that they will implement Instant Replay Review Challenge (IRRC) for the IFR in January 2024.

Kyla Matthews breakaway roping at the IFR in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Kyla Matthews and Senorita at IFR 53. Darlena Roberts/870 Sports Photography.

The IPRA (International Professional Rodeo Association) announced March 20, 2023, that they will implement Instant Replay Review Challenge (IRRC) for the International Finals Rodeo (IFR) in January 2024.

The IPRA’s World Championship event will now offer this opportunity to its athletes with IRRC inclusion in the IFR54 event Ground Rules.

“The IPRA believes that with advancements in media coverage and with this event having World Championship implications, it’s time for us to lead – into the future of Rodeo,” said IPRA General Manager Dale Yergian. “We will invest in some additional equipment and cameras that we have not had in the past. This will offer additional support to our Athletes and Officials to help ensure the right calls are made.”

Recently acquired by Rodeo Logisitcs LLC, the IPRA is positioning itself for growth and influence in the Rodeo industry. As the sport’s second-largest professional rodeo association sanctioning over 400 rodeos annually, the IPRA also has a membership base of over 2,700 members and currently sanctions rodeos across the United States and Canada.

Why Instant Replay is Important

Although now very common in professional sports leagues like the NFL, MLB and NBA, Instant Replay Review is not typical in Rodeo and western sports events. The first to introduce the concept to competition was the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). In 2006, during PBR World Finals, Luke Snyder challenged that he slapped Frontier Rodeo Company’s Silent Angel during his ride. After review, the call was reversed and Snyder was awarded a 80.50 score for his effort. This serves as the first record of Instant Replay Review Challenge in western sports.

In 2016, the now-dissolved Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) launched a televised tour using Instant Replay Review Challenge and was the first tour or series of events in Rodeo to do so. More recently, in 2018 World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) launched and has implemented the Instant Replay Review Challenge for all events and televised rounds of competition.

“Instant Replay Review has been in practice consistently, in rodeo, since the WCRA launched. It’s time we at IPRA use the tools already in place with our growing media coverage to get it right – when we

can,” added Yerigan. “Instant Replay does not solve every problem, but if it could help our Athletes and Officials, we have to act.”

IPRA Poised to Execute Positive Changes After Rodeo Logistics Acquisition

In January 2023, the IPRA announced that they were acquired by Rodeo Logistics and announced additional opportunities IPRA Members could expect as the companies integrate:

  • · Increase prize money and stock leases at the IFR54 (January 2024).
  • · Increase the payoff to $500,000 and the riding event stock lease to $1,000 per head in the first year following the acquisition. It is creating an increase of over $250,000 that will directly benefit IPRA members.
  • · Access to all the latest technology to make it easier and more efficient to operate in the IPRA for athletes, contractors/producers, committees, and personnel.

Founded in 1957 by two rodeo promoters, the Interstate Rodeo Association, IRA, was formed as a rodeo management organization and a sanctioning body. Concerned with expansion west of the Mississippi River, this new group’s primary interest was to enhance rodeo’s credibility with the news media in the east, where fly-by-night rodeos and Wild West Shows and unregulated contests had done much to discredit the sport. The word “Professional” was officially added to the association’s name in 1983 giving birth to the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls in the International Professional Rodeo Association.

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