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International Gay Rodeo Association
Rodeo Production Guidebook

FACT SHEET

For more items of interest see the Timeline of interesting facts on the Gay Rodeo History Site


  1. IGRA was founded in September 1985 at convention of its first four member associations; AGRA-Arizona Gay Rodeo Association; CGRA-Colorado Gay Rodeo Association; TGRA- Texas Gay Rodeo Association; and GSGRA-Golden State Gay Rodeo Association [California]. At that first convention, OGRA-Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association was seated.

  2. The founding President of IGRA is Wayne Jakino of Denver, Colorado who is now referred to as the founding father of Gay Rodeo. Since IGRA's founding, there have been nine additional Presidents elected:

    • Les Krambeal, Oklahoma - Second President
    • Gerald Ford, Texas - Third President
    • Linn Copeland, Kansas - Fourth President
    • Bob Pimentel, Jr., New Mexico - Fifth President
    • Roger Bergmann, California - Sixth President
    • Thomas Vance, Minnesota - Seventh President
    • Linda Frazier, Kansas - Eighth President
    • Craig Rouse, California - Ninth President
    • Brian Helander, Arizona - Tenth President

  3. IGRA is the abbreviation for International Gay Rodeo Association. IGRA is an association of associations, incorporated in the state of Colorado with general offices in Denver, Colorado. Individuals are not separately members of IGRA, but the Member Associations are. Individuals are members of state or regional Member Associations of IGRA. Member Associations have different age requirements for membership of individuals dependent on the legal age for contract signature in that jurisdiction. There is no restriction on membership based on race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or gender.

  4. There are 26 member Associations representing most U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia totaling over 2,700 individual and corporate members.

  5. IGRA operates on a twelve-month rodeo year. The rodeo year begins January 1st and ends December 31st. In the 2005 rodeo year, there were 22 rodeos sanctioned by IGRA, including the 18th annual IGRA Finals Rodeo in Dallas, TX. During the 1995 Oklahoma City Rodeo, the IGRA celebrated its 100th rodeo and during the 2000 season, the 200th rodeo was held. Three years of scheduled rodeos are announced at each annual convention. The Convention sanctions the rodeos for the coming rodeo year after convention and accepts as planned those for the following two years. The annual convention selects the site for the next year's annual convention and the location of the Finals Rodeo.

  6. IGRA is governed by a board of directors each of whom are elected for a three-year term from each Member Association. There are eight executive officers: a President, Vice President, Secretary, a Treasurer, all elected by the delegates at annual convention for a two-year term. In addition, four board members-at-large are elected by the association trustees to serve on the Executive Board.

  7. IGRA has developed a set of bylaws under which it operates and its Member Associations adhere to. Appended to these bylaws are a set of Standing Rules and Procedures. Within the rules document are the Sanctioned Rodeo Rules covering all aspects of a sanctioned IGRA rodeo, the rules for the annual country western dance finals competition, and the rules for the royalty contests including the manner and method IGRA royalty are selected.

  8. IGRA's Member Associations meet in convention once each year to review and amend the bylaws and standing rules. At convention, IGRA may also review and seat new member associations with the consent of the current Member Association delegates. IGRA has developed educational and certification criteria for the development of its certified officials. All IGRA sanctioned rodeos must be overseen and audited by certified IGRA officials. At convention or any board of directors meeting, a person may be certified as an IGRA official upon completion of their required educational period, having successfully completed the qualifying exam, and being recommended by the Chairperson of that officials committee.

  9. IGRA sponsors an annual International Country Western Dance Competition. This dance competition takes place during the IGRA annual convention. Couples compete in four levels of dance competency. Each couple must be certified as selected by a Member Association. The dance competition is made up of the winning dancers as selected from the Member Associations. Each Member Association may send one couple for each dance competency level up to four couples maximum from each Member Association.

  10. IGRA also sponsors a Finals Rodeo at the end of the rodeo year. The top twenty rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from across the IGRA who have accumulated the most points per event are invited to compete for the title of International Champion in a specific event and also All-Around Cowboy and All-Around Cowgirl.

  11. IGRA also sponsors an annual competition from among its Member Associations for its titled Royalty. IGRA has four positions of titled Royalty: Mr. IGRA, Ms. IGRA, Miss IGRA and MsTer IGRA. Each IGRA Member Association may send its qualified representative for each category of royalty to compete during the Finals Rodeo. The newly crowned royalty begin their reign at the beginning of the next rodeo year and hold their position for one rodeo year.

  12. IGRA royalty serve very important functions as community outreach and goodwill ambassadors as well as being responsible for fund raising activities. The titled royalty of IGRA are called upon also to serve as MCs for various IGRA functions. IGRA royalty serve to lead the way for IGRA in the community outreach activities of IGRA, assisting in the collection and organizing of IGRA history.

  13. A primary function of IGRA and its Member Associations is to serve as benevolent benefactors in the raising of funds to support charities within the Gay and Lesbian community. Member Associations report that over $2 million has been contributed over the past 20 years of lGRA history.

  14. IGRA supports the training for and competition in the sport of rodeo. IGRA also fosters many other country western activities. IGRA is one of several rodeo associations which make up the rodeo industry. Important to IGRA and each of its Member Associations is the education of competing members in the correct and safest manner to compete in each rodeo event. IGRA rodeo cowboys and cowgirls who compete are trained and fit athletes in their sport, even though they are competing as amateurs. IGRA promotes and encourages good sportsmanship, fair play, and a set of rules for a highly competitive, but level playing field.

  15. IGRA cowboys and cowgirls who compete in Gay Rodeo may compete in all thirteen events which make up a sanctioned rodeo:

    • Calf Roping on Foot
    • Break-away Roping
    • Team Roping
    • Barrel Racing
    • Pole Bending
    • Flag Race
    • Goat Dressing
    • Steer Decorating
    • Wild Drag Race
    • Chute Dogging
    • Steer Riding
    • Bareback Bronc Riding
    • Bull Riding

  16. Both men and women must compete using the same rules for all competitions. In all events, men compete against only men and women compete against only women with the exceptions of Team Roping, Wild Drag Race, Goat Dressing and Steer Decorating.

  17. IGRA supports and encourages animal welfare through its rules and the careful and humane treatment of animal athletes which also compete in the sport of rodeo. An IGRA certified arena director and chute coordinator are present at each sanctioned rodeo and are required to inspect the livestock to assure that only animals which are fit, healthy and meet specifications for weight are used in competition. IGRA rules also require that a veterinarian be on site at the rodeo during the running of all events.

  18. IGRA does not allow or condone the harmful or inhumane treatment of animals that compete in our rodeos. Rodeo is a rough sport involving physical skill and fitness in its competition by all competitors both human and animal. Rodeo statistics from the entire industry have proven that the human competitors suffer the majority of injuries encountered in rodeos [over 95%].

  19. Over 100,000 attended IGRA & member association rodeos, parties, events & fundraisers in the year 2003 and over 2,000 volunteers that are essential to these charity events. There were over 15,000 contestant entries at IGRA rodeos in the year 2002.

  20. For more information, please contact.

Origianally asembled by Tom Sheridan, 2005
IGRA Marketing/Media Relations Public Relations Spokesperson

First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016