A local contracting company will be launching a new rodeo event in Strathmore later this month, with ambitions for it to grow rapidly within the community.
Cale Pribyl with Lazy P Rodeo company is spearheading the Last Cowboy Standing, set to take place on Sept. 18 at the Strathmore Agricultural Society grounds.
“This will be our first event we’re putting on solely ourselves in Strathmore. We thought we would attempt to put on some local events and put some entertainment on for local communities,” said Pribyl.
“Being that Strathmore, it’s been such a great rodeo town that we thought that bull riding is such a growing and popular sport that maybe something that’s potentially missing … in town.”
Last Cowboy Standing, Pribyl explained, will be the first event of kind within Strathmore, being sanctioned with Bull Riders Canada.
He added though he had some previous involvement with “Bucking up the Best” in Strathmore with the Agricultural Society, creating a new standalone event is new territory for him.
“In all honesty, I’m not 100 per cent sure yet (how popular it’ll be). We’re hoping to have possibly 800 people but it’s kind of pending COVID-19 numbers and stuff like that,” said Pribyl. “If I could have it my way, I’d like 20,000 people there, but working with what we have and the timeframe that we have we’re only anticipating being able to seat between 600 and 800 people comfortably.”
Ultimately, Pribyl’s goal is to grow the event and eventually have it host over a weekend long with more events, including those for youth, taking place over its duration.
He explained the Last Cowboy Standing will be operated similar to a Professional Bull Riding event in Los Angeles, which he described as a modified “Iron Cowboy” format.
This format sees points awarded for the length of time riders are able to stay on the bulls, as per a typical event, but riders will be mounting more bulls throughout the day than they might usually.
The rider with the most ride time and highest number of points accumulated at the end of the day will be crowned victorious. A designated prize was not specified.
Entries for the rodeo opened through the weekend of Sept. 3 to 5, though an exact date and timeline was not specified nor was the number of riders he hoped to see sign up.
Another challenge Pribyl has encountered is finding sponsors, being both new to the community, and with businesses dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it will be a good opportunity for us both moving forward that it will be a real cool event for Strathmore and the Ag Society, putting another event on their table and keeping their arena being used and showing off local talents,” he said. “With how fast things opened up (after COVID-19), it provided us an opportunity to put our cards in the game and get our own bull riding event going on.”
The event will launch at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Strathmore Ag Grounds.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times