CODY, Wyo.- January 19-23, 2011 Tucson will embrace its cowboy and equestrian culture during the 85th Annual Dude Ranchers Association Convention.
This year Tanque Verde Guest Ranch will once again play host to the Dude Ranchers Association convention. As the top annual event for the DRA, the convention serves as a discussion and educational platform for changes in the industry. Guest speakers, vendors, media, and representatives from member and associate member ranches plan to attend the 2011 DRA convention.
Keynote speakers Rod Harris, Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University and past President of Tourism B.C, and Tracey Knuston, a recreation lawyer from Alaska, will be speaking on tourism in the coming years and issues that affect the equine recreation industry, respectively.
During the week, the public is invited to attend Wild West Casino Night January 20th and the Dude Ranchers Educational Trust silent auction January 22nd. Eight dude ranch vacations for 2 will be auctioned off during casino night. Proceeds from both events will benefit the Dude Ranchers Educational Trust and this year’s local partner, Coaches for Charity. The Dude Ranchers Educational Trust raises funds for scholarships for students pursuing a career that will help to perpetuate the dude ranch industry and Coaches for Charity supports high school athletes whose athletic careers were catastrophically cut short, ending hopes of attending college on an athletic scholarship.
Participants work hard and play hard during the DRA Convention. In addition to discussion forums and seminars on topics such as adaptive first aid, the agenda includes team penning at Tucson’s White Stallion Ranch, pigeon rolling, and evenings of music, dancing, and BBQ.
First formed in 1926, the Dude Rancher’s Association has over 100 member ranches and 150 associate members focused in the western U.S. and Canada. Members must participate in a rigorous two year inspection and approval process to join. As the governing body for the west’s dude ranch industry, the DRA strives to maintain the highest standards of quality in areas from accommodations to horsemanship.