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US: Cowboys’ antitrust suit still kicking

 |  February 9, 2016

A federal judge ruled that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association can prohibit members of a breakaway group from competing in PRCA events, but refused to dismiss the Elite Rodeo Association’s antitrust lawsuit.

US District Judge Barbara Lynn on Thursday denied the Elite Rodeo Association’s request for a preliminary injunction.

The newly formed ERA and star rodeo athletes Trevor Bazile, Bobby Mote and Ryan Motes filed an antitrust class action in November last year after the PRCA enacted bylaws banning ERA cowboys and owners from PRCA-sanctioned rodeos.

The ERA cowboys claimed the PRCA was “bullying its own membership” by locking them out of PRCA rodeos if they compete in ERA-sanctioned events.

Organized similarly to the breakaway Professional Bull Riders organization, the ERA features top rodeo athletes in several events. It plans to hold its first season this year with national broadcasts of its nine events on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 cable channels. ERA plans to hold a final World Championship Rodeo at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas in November.

Judge Lynn disagreed with the argument that cowboys who do not compete in PRCA rodeos will be unable to make a living as rodeo athletes.

“The court concludes that plaintiffs have not made a clear showing that they will suffer irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction, nor that they are likely to succeed on the merits their claims,” Lynn wrote.

Full content: Courthouse News Service

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