,What I,d hoped would happen 30 to 35 years ago is finally becoming a possibility now,, says Shawn Davis, 64, production manager for the PRCA,s three nationwide tours, plus the prestigious National Finals, the sport,s equivalent of baseball,s World Series. ,We have nearly 700 sanctioned rodeos annually in 41 states and four Canadian provinces.
There,s a beginning and an end and a tremendous excitement level.
, a three-time world saddle bronc riding champion (1965, 1967-68), who still coaches rodeo at the College of Southern Idaho
in Twin Falls, says the sport has changed considerably from the time when he
,When I was growing up, it was more like the original Wild West,, recalls Davis
, ,when the cowboys would come into town, go to the rodeo, and then party and have a great time until the next one down the road a week.Their lifestyle has changed, too.
,We,re getting a lot of benefit out of television,, says Davis
, referring to the PRCA
,s contracts with the ESPN and OLN networks.
,If it,s not on TV, it don,t work,, Shoulders adds. ,I think it,s a product worth selling and worth looking at.,
As for what the future holds for pro rodeo, Davis
says, ,If they,ll continue with the present (PRCA) commissioner,s plan and organize it so it can be developed as a sport with a following, there,s an excitement level coupled with the heritage of the West that is very hard to duplicate.,