by Spencer Kemp
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Some Saskatchewan rodeos are hoping to see riders return to the saddles and fans fill the stands, however, there is still concern about limited group sizes.
Jill Lowe, Co-Chair of the Moose Mountain Rodeo at Kennedy, says she is hoping to hold the annual rodeo this year on July 24 and 25, but still requires guidance from the government.
“We’re trying to find out what capacity we can have for spectators and if we can have our full food booths, beer gardens, and all the extras that go with the actual rodeo event itself, including the parade,” Lowe explained.
Lowe noted another difficulty brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Due to restricted borders, Lowe says there will be difficulty hosting out-of-province and international riders.
“We’re part of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) which is based out of Alberta and the only issue is the riders that ride in the states and internationally in places like Australia. We’re in talks right now with those competitors to see what we can do.”
While Lowe says she is hoping to hold a rodeo this year, she says it is unlikely that it will be the same as in past years.
She says that if group sizes continue to be restricted, it may not be viable to hold an event.
“We hope to have it the same as we’ve always had it. We can almost guarantee that we will not have it at full capacity, so we really do need to sit down and decide if it is economically situated for us.
‘”We’ve actually been approached quite a few times about live streaming but we’re a small town, so we just don’t know what that’s going to be like and how it’s going to physically happen.”
Lowe says that with the cancellation of the 2020 Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo, the committee took a small hit financially.
She explains that to host a rodeo this year, group size restrictions will need to be loosened, noting that a majority of the income from the rodeo is made through admission fees.
“I can’t say that we were hit hard but we can’t put on a rodeo without a guarantee that we can have those spectators. We can’t afford to put a rodeo on just for those contestants. We rely on the money coming in at the gate,” Lowe said.
Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator