COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – With the regular season behind us we turn our attention to what could be considered the reward season for not only our Top 15 but also all the personnel and committees that have gone above and beyond this past year.
The WPRA Board of Directors have selected their 2023 contract award winners that have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all happen and have helped keep the Association alive and well for the past 75 years. Each winner will be officially recognized during the WPRA Star Celebration at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday, December 7.
Honored this year with the Outstanding Individual Award is Randy Spraggins. Spraggins has long been a favorite “dirt guy” among WPRA barrel racers and he continues to show why he is truly the best in the business. Two major examples of his dedication to good safe ground came in 2023 when he was called upon to consult with RodeoHouston and the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo when they were having issues with their ground conditions. Both times Spraggins stepped right in and provided what service he could. In Cheyenne, his work and expertise resulted in two arena records being set in the final round.
Spraggins has truly learned the art of dirt after 40 years in the business. He came to the rodeo world via motor sports with truck and tractor pulls and a chance encounter of working with the late Jerome Robinson at an event in St. Louis. He had always had an interest in the sport of rodeo, but it was Robinson who invited him into the rodeo world, where he has remained and continues to make an impact.
“My goal for any event/rodeo committee’s ground is safety for animals and humans which then lends itself to a smoother rodeo production,” noted Spraggins. “If the ground is safe then every animal can perform to its full potential whether it be a barrel horse, bucking horse or timed event horse.”
While Spraggins has made an impact in the arena, Tanya Randall has made her impact in the media realm telling the stories and tracking barrel horse earnings through the years. As a result, she is being honored in 2023 with the media award. She has helped bring more light to the members of the WPRA while reminding readers of the history of the Association, which is celebrating 75 years this year.
Speaking of the special 75th Anniversary, it is only fitting that Martha Josey will be honored with the Lenora Reimers Heritage Award. Not only did she make a name for herself in the arena but also has given back to the sport through her countless clinics. She and late husband, R.E. Josey, started conducting barrel racing clinics in 1967 at their ranch in Texas. Many of today’s world champions credit Martha Josey with helping them achieve their goals. Her clinics have grown through the years to average over 1,500 students annually with students as young as five and some into their 80s. In addition, the Josey’s have been credited with creating new and innovative barrel racing saddles, pads, protective boots, knot reins, and combination bits. The result has been increased safety and increased barrel racing skills for barrel racers over the United States.
Professional rodeo’s leading entity tasked with keeping the history alive and well is the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. This year they will be honored with the WPRA’s Distinguished Partnership Award in recognition of what they have done to expand the footprint of the history of the WPRA. For the second time in the last six years, they partnered with the WPRA to bring a special “Women in Rodeo” display to the 101 Gallery. In 2017, they welcomed the first WPRA members for induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and have continued every year since.
Rodeo committees have long been the backbone of the rodeo industry and without the hardworking rodeo committees, the industry would have a hard time existing. Winning the WPRA Large Rodeo of the Year award in 2023 is the San Antonio (TX) Rodeo. The Central Montana Pro Rodeo in Lewistown will be honored as the Medium Rodeo of the Year and the Pioneer City Rodeo in Palestine, Illinois, will take home the Small Rodeo of the Year.
The WPRA would like to congratulate each of the award recipients as well as those that were nominated for these prestigious awards.
Below is a full list of those that will be recognized by the WPRA in 2023.
Announcer of the Year
Stock Contractor of the Year
Dakota Rodeo – Chad Berger
Judge of the Year
Mildred Farris Secretary of the Year
Small Rodeo of the Year (added money of $5,000 or less)
Pioneer City Rodeo (Palestine, IL)
Medium Rodeo of the Year (added money of $5,001 – $9,999)
Central Montana Pro Rodeo (Lewistown)
Large Rodeo of the Year (added money over $10,000)
San Antonio (Texas) Rodeo
Corporate Partner of the Year
Lenora Reimers’ Heritage Award
Outstanding Individual of the Year
Outstanding Service & Dedication Award
ProRodeo Hall of Fame
Lifetime Family Heritage Award
Wood Family – Norma Wood and Terri Wood Gates
Outstanding Rodeo Committee Partner
Reno (Nevada) Rodeo
Gooding (Idaho) Pro Rodeo
Outstanding Service and Dedication – Judge
Outstanding Service and Dedication – Director
Eileen Lang-Kramme – First Frontier
PROVIDED COURTESY OF WPRA TO TENN TEXAS MEDIA