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International Gay Rodeo Association
Rodeo Production Guidebook


  1. Review every category of the competition and list everything you need to have or complete. Go down the checklist daily, crossing things off as you complete them and adding anything new you remember as you go along.
  2. List every item of clothing you will need (down to your underwear and socks) for the whole weekend. People have packed for competition and forgot everything else like daytime clothes or a toothbrush!
  3. Make sure your hotel room, flight and rental car info is completed and you have copies of the confirmation numbers with you.
  4. Pack all of your competition items (Action plan, horsemanship tape, western wear description, labeled entertainment music -) together in a protective bag within your carryon baggage. That way you have it with you regardless of the airlines. If you can separate your competition clothes and have them as a carryon as well, great! Less stress if it never leaves your hands.
  5. Before the entertainment, western wear and public presentation segments of the contest, you will want to double-check all of your outfits. Look for scuffs, tears, stains and loose threads and buttons. Again, part of your total score is based on your appearance, and you will want to look your best.
  6. Take your good points and accentuate them. Work harder on your weakest category, which could be what wins it for you.
  7. Surround yourself with a good support team.
  8. Choose your dresser very carefully! Your dresser should have a good working knowledge of all aspects of the competition.
  9. IGRA bylaws, standing rules, and rodeo rules can be accessed at the IGRA website or ask your Trustee for a copy.
  10. If you are unable to attend Convention, be sure to obtain all the changes that were made from your Trustee.
  11. Have a friend practice asking you questions, both for personal Interview and general personality questions. Get comfortable with holding and speaking into a microphone. You want to be audible, not muffled/mush mouthed or overly loud.
  12. During personal interview, you will also be judged on your personal appearance. Please make sure that your shirts and blouses are neatly pressed. Jeans or skirts should be pressed and well fitted. Check to make sure that your hats, if any, are blocked and lint-free. Boots and belts should be shined and free of scuffs.
  13. Do not wait until the last month or until the weather gets nice to start on your Horsemanship video. During winter and spring you should be practicing. Use an indoor arena if you have to, do to in climate weather. Practice! Practice! Practice! When summer arrives or when it warms up, you are ready to video.
  14. Watch your video! Keep in mind the judges will see your tape one time only. Can they see that you and your horse are well groomed? Do you make the proper gait changes and at the right time? Are the changes smooth? Are they consistent? Are you secure in the saddle? How is your positioning? Do you have the horses' full attention or are they looking around? Does your horse change leads during the lope segment? Can you see the lead changes clearly? Are there any distractions in the background?
  15. Cue your horsemanship tape, label it and put it away to be packed. Make it the only recording on your tape. It is a good idea to have a back-up copy.
  16. Type your western wear description in big block letters, 14 pt font minimum, so that the folks reading it don't screw it up because they can't read it. The lighting is often poor for reading at the competition. Have someone read your description after you've typed it up and see if it reads smoothly and clearly.
  17. Bring 2 copies of your Western Wear description. One to be used during competition and the other is so the emcee's can review and practice reading.
  18. Western wear descriptions: While you should have fun with your descriptions, keep it simple. If you use any unfamiliar words or brand names, put the phonetics of that word in parenthesis.
  19. Items that you can include in your description are: (these are just suggestions)
    1. Set the stage or paint a picture for the background of your selection.
    2. Let your personality show.
    3. When describing your outfit, try to be colorful. Pay attention to how catalogs describe the outfits.
    4. Add something personal about you and who you are. Are you a rodeo contestant, volunteer, or do you have an interest other than rodeo?
    5. Add a little humor.
    6. Good time to thank and recognize you sponsors.
    7. Be creative or find someone who is to write your description.
  20. When modeling western wear, you should have a floor plan as to where you will move on stage. Keep repeating that pattern until the judges are finished. (If you can see the judges, you will know that they are finished when the 'runner' is picking up the score sheets.)
  21. Find out what the stage dimensions and height will be. What about ceiling height. Where will the steps be, if any? What will the backdrop be like? (If the backdrop is all black do you want to wear an all black outfit?)
  22. Try on your western wear and entertainment outfits before you come to finals! You want to look comfortable walking around on stage in the western wear and you want to make certain you can perform in what you choose for entertainment. This means boots/shoes as well. New footwear can be slippery - break it in! It is always a good idea to see how an outfit looks under a spotlight/stage light if you can. An outfit that looks like it matches in daylight may look unmatched in stage lights, especially when you work with paler colors that may wash out in the light. And don't forget undergarments, hats and jewelry. Practice in front of an audience!
  23. In making your selections, if you doubt it or don't feel it - don't do it!
  24. If you have a question regarding props, or anything for that matter, ask!! Don't wait till the competition.
  25. Make certain that your performance music is in the cleanest format possible. That means no old tapes that have been played repeatedly and sound ancient (unless that is part of your performance). You want to have the best possible sound to sing/lip sync/perform too! Clean your CD. Make certain your music is clearly and accurately labeled and in a clean protective container. Bring back-up copies with you.
  26. Make sure that your entertainment tapes are cued with only one recording and CDs are clean and free of fingerprints and properly labeled. It is a good idea to have a back up for each of these.
  27. Ask if there will be a Parade of States. If so, you will need extra outfits.
  28. Type up your action plan or ensure that it is clearly handwritten. Place in an envelope, seal and label, then put with everything else for competition.
  29. Your plan of action should cover all the responsibilities of being on the IGRA Royalty team and how you plan to accomplish them. Also include any additional plans or goals that you may have as well as personal goals.
  30. A lot of this may seem like simple common sense, but as competition time draws near you will have more things than you ever imagined running through your head. Trying to minimize the chaos will help you be calmer about the whole thing. And we really do want to see the very best YOU there is, so the more relaxed you are the more confidant you'll be.
  31. Remember, the sooner that you get yourself organized, the easier the weekend will be - meaning you have more fun!
  32. Don't wait for the deadline to get things done!! Plan ahead and when it's ready - send it in!!
  33. Be yourself and have fun!
  34. Breathe!!
First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016