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Pro Rodeo Canada Celebrates 75 Years

CPRA - 75 YearsThe year was 1944. That’s when a group of cowboys banded together to form the Cowboys Insurance Association. Each member put in $1.00 per rodeo and that amount was matched by rodeo management to form a small insurance fund for the participants.

The following year, the group was re-named the Cowboys Protective Association (CPA) and became a society under The Societies Act. They went from an organization focused almost solely on providing insurance and medical assistance when needed to a body designed to serve its members in a much broader way.

Ken Thomson of Black Diamond was the first President and the organization boasted 160 members initially. Before the organization’s formation, many rodeos were paying less than $10.00 for first place money and entry fees were not added to the prize money. (Thomson recalls attending a rodeo where he spent $14.00 in entry fees, won four firsts and two seconds and got $34.00 back!)

In 1965, the group incorporated under the name Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association, an identity that lasted until 1980 when the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association became the official name of the organization. Under the auspices of CPRA, Canadian pro rodeo has become a well-organized and well-regulated sport, with a global membership of over 1000 and a comprehensive insurance and medical program.

Fast forward to 2019 - 75 years after the early visionaries joined forces. Today, the CPRA holds 55 plus events annually with $5.57 million in total prize money. 1.65 million is paid out at the Canadian Finals Rodeo alone.

Happy 75th Anniversary Canadian Professional Rodeo Association!

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