In an announcement released Monday, the Elite Rodeo Association (ERA) and three of their star athletes filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) to prevent enforcement of what has been termed illegal and unfair bylaws.
The class action lawsuit seeks a court order to temporarily and permanently stop PRCA from enforcing new bylaws that were enacted in October 2015. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas on behalf of all current and future athletes who are or will be an officer, board member, employee of ERA or have or will have an ownership or financial interest of any form in ERA.
Several current and former PRCA world champions announced earlier this year that they would collectively form the ERA to ensure less travel while hoping to earn more money. Last month, the ERA announced its cowboys and cowgirls would cut back on PRCA rodeos to focus more attention on the new tour. Several World Champions are among the members of the ERA.
The PRCA responded by announcing that “any person applying for PRCA membership who is an officer, board member, employee or has an ownership or financial interest of any form in a Conflicting Rodeo Association shall not be issued a membership, permit or renewal of membership with the PRCA.”
PRCA and ERA are two different organizations with different missions. Where PRCA is driven by member dues and sanctions hundreds of rodeo events that include competitors of any skill level, ERA was founded to create a “League of Champions” and a true national championship to increase excitement and benefit the entire industry.
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Source: Elite Rodeo Association