By Justin Seward
Two out of three local rodeos have cancelled their 2020 rodeos, while another is in a holding pattern until middle of the month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Elkwater Roping Association cancelled its annual July 1 rodeo due mainly to the restriction of 50 people allowed at an event.
“It is a tough decision to make because there are a lot of people that look forward to it every year. Not only the adults , but young competitors , they look forward to it as well,” said Terry Hogg, Roping Association secretary treasurer.
“I think we’ll follow the bigger shows, they’ve been all cancelled. I think we’ll go with protocol and we’ll make it a no go this year.”
Hogg says to make up for the financial loss, they were going to have their annual casino this fall but that has been pushed back because all the casinos are closed.
She hopes they can get a new casino date in 2021.
The Canada Day rodeo attracted over 100 contestants in the past.
The CFB Suffield-ran Ralston Rodeo occurs on the second Saturday of August annually.
“We follow our own team of command directions in terms of what is allowed during the current restrictions. But right now I know gathering of more than 50 people in Alberta are restricted or discouraged,” said Natalie Finnemore, public affairs officer for CFB Suffield.
Finnemore said depending on the guidelines change that the rodeo could be held in the fall.
“It’s very speculative. I wouldn’t say that’s a for sure thing,” she said.
Irvine’s 20 Mile Rodeo happens on the Labour Daylong weekend in September, but its board has not made a final decision yet.
“We don’t know yet,” said Larry Grossman, rodeo president.
“We haven’t cancelled. But we haven’t heard yet if we can go with it or not. They (Alberta Health) might not allow us because everything is cancelled. There isn’t much sense in having a rodeo you’ve got no people there.”
Grossman says they’re going to hold off on decision until the middle of June.
The annual Memorial Team Roping event at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede grounds on the September long weekend was also cancelled.