Rodeo headed for bigger things: CPRA chief

Murry Milan of Three Hills is a former steer wrestler and avid rodeo goer but he’s spent the past year in a new role, heading the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association as president.

Murry Milan of Three Hills is a former steer wrestler and avid rodeo goer but he’s spent the past year in a new role, heading the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association as president.

“It’s been interesting to see this side of the rodeo world, the internal engine,” said Milan, 54.

“You’re always striving to find new opportunities and expand. We have some deals in the works that I can’t reveal that hopefully will make us bigger, better.”

Milan, who was named president in January, said he’s also proud the association obtained more TV coverage this year.

“We’re getting back to where we should be, I think.”

Milan noted that the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton on Wednesday will be broadcast live on the web for the first time with SportsNet One.

The CFR Championships Sunday segment is also set to move to prime time on Sunday on the SportsNet One station, airing from 7 to 10 p.m.

“They’re doing complete coverage so we’ll have it across Canada for the first time this year, which is pretty darn neat,” Milan said.

Milan has three sons, who are all also steer wrestlers, and two of them — Tanner and Straws — will be competing in the finals.

“The boys, all three of them, have been to the finals quite a few times. It’s a special year this year because it’s the rodeo’s 40th anniversary.”

In honour of the 40 years, the association hopes to make a special recognition of past members and speed up production of the rodeo, he said.

“We’re taking out the intermission — that’s new this year.”

There will also be “tailgate parties” on the concourse between Rexall Place and the Northlands Expo Centre every day during the event from Wednesday to Sunday.

“My favourite moments as president so far are just watching and supporting our athletes. … What’s unique about rodeo is you’re always working together, even when you’re competing against one another. They want their fellow man to win as much as they want to win.”

Milan said he’s been involved with the association for well over two decades.

“Being president, I now have even more respect for the sport because you get to see all sides of it this way. I’m not in the house much. I’m busier with this job but I like to always be doing something.”

Milan’s presidency is a two-year term. As to whether he’ll run again in 2015, he said it’s always a possibility.

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