Standard family rodeo returns following COVID-19 hiatus

·3 min read

Folks in the Standard area were excited to celebrate the sixth annual family rodeo on June 25, with no shortage of events for local kids to participate in.

Dallas Nelson, president of the Standard Rodeo Society, said the event is geared largely for the enjoyment and participation of local youth and is a great opportunity for families to get out of the house.

“It’s just an event to get kids out, we’ve got all events and they don’t necessarily have to come from a rodeo background,” said Nelson. “It’s just for them to come out and have some fun on a nice day.”

The rodeo was brought back to Standard after a two-year hiatus due to ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Although usually paired with Standard Sports Days, the annual community day featuring a baseball tournament took another break this year as volunteers are instead focused on planning for the Village’s upcoming centennial celebration on Aug. 13.

Nelson said the turnout of people at the rodeo and who were excited to be back was beyond any of his expectations.

“(The turnout) has been awesome, it has blown our expectations with the amount of people who have come out today,” said Nelson. “It’s just gratifying to see the smiles on the kids’ faces. That’s what it’s all about today is all about the kids. It’s just to go have fun, no pressure. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s for the kids.”

Included among the festivities was wild pony riding, bloomer races, trick riding, mutton busting and goat tying alongside myriad of other classic rodeo events.

Despite the event’s humble beginnings, Nelson said he is excited to see it gaining popularity within Standard, as well as the surrounding communities.

“There are a few families from Standard who went to other rodeos and saw how many people went with their kids to other rodeos, so we thought why not try here. We started something real small a few years ago and it’s steadily grown since,” said Nelson. “It’s exciting to get everyone in the community together and everyone from surrounding communities who we don’t typically see. That’s pretty much the highlight and just the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

Nelson added that he was ecstatic about the efforts put in by volunteers to make the rodeo happen, especially given the adverse weather conditions which threatened to postpone the festivities.

“This year, we had about four inches of rain about a week before and our grounds was a complete disaster … we (debated) whether we would have to postpone it, but everyone put a lot of hours in and we got the grounds good to go. We’re grateful that we stuck with ‘er,” said Nelson, adding that he would like to see the event continue to grow each year as the hosting tradition develops.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times