When attending a rodeo, you may focus more on the events, animals, and cowboys. What many don’t realize is the amount of hard work and dedication that go into planning rodeos and they may not realize that much of this process involves women! In light of Women in Rodeo week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Priscilla Riggs, the Senior Judging Coordinator for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Priscilla gave great insights about what it’s like to be a Judging Coordinator for the sport of rodeo. Priscilla has been working in the PRCA for the past 30 years and has been a judging coordinator for the past 10 years. Take a look at the interview below!
What does being a Senior Judging Coordinator entail?
“I send out assignments for the judges and take care of their pay and all their paperwork involved with that. I’m in charge of changing judges, getting changes from the event rep, changing barriers, anything along those lines.”
Were you a judge coordinator when you first started working in Rodeo?
“I actually started out in Accounts Receivables. And then, I moved from there to Membership and worked in both departments, I have also worked in Member Records. Those three departments were all very similar. I was there for 20 years and then I moved to judging where I have worked for about 10 years. There was an opening and the supervisor asked me at the time if I would apply for it so I did and here I am now.”
Where do you get your roots in rodeo?
“I have some cousins and uncles that were involved in rodeo. But my family was just…country. My dad, on his army papers, when asked what his job was previously would put ‘cow puncher.’ So, we’ve always been interested in that.”
Do you have any advice for women going into the rodeo industry?
“You have to be tough. Don’t let your guard down and make sure you stand up for the sport and yourself, and get your voice out there.”
Has your role as a woman changed in rodeo over the years?
“There’s a lot of respect for the women in rodeo and I’ve seen a lot more women come into positions that were previously just for men, so our role is definitely growing. I can see it making more progress in the years to come, definitely. Many of the positions in this office are held by women. I think women are the backbone of rodeo because they’re the ones that make sure everything happens as far as the general day-to-day jobs.. All the jobs trickle down and every department is affected in every way. They’re all combined together it couldn’t just work with one department. Everyone in this office has a great effect on the job we get done.”
How has rodeo changed your life?
“I’m a lot more involved in it and have a lot more love for it. I’ve always been interested and enjoyed rodeo. I now see the behind the scenes and know the views as a spectator. I know how much work is put into it. I don’t think the average Joe realizes how much work goes into, not just the rodeo, but all aspects of it. No one would ever predict how much work goes into this office.”