Altered rodeo hopes to keep riding high – Metro US

Altered rodeo hopes to keep riding high

The Cloverdale Rodeo is moseying down a solitary trail by giving up its “true” rodeo status. Organizers are hopeful that its changing ways will match the morals of the times and still draw big crowds.

The rodeo dropped tie-down roping, steer wrestling, cowboy cow-milking and team roping from its bill after organizers put down a calf that was injured during a tie-down roping competition last year.

“There was a feeling that it was no longer reflective of the sensibilities of the community,” said spokeswoman Laura Ballance.

As a result, the rodeo, now in its 62nd year, is no longer sanctioned by the Canadian or American professional rodeo association.

It means that cowboys and cowgirls participating in the event no longer receive points toward their professional totals.

Ballance said the prize-money in the remaining events — bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc and bareback — has been increased, making Cloverdale the second richest in the country after the Calgary Stampede.

“We’re drawing the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world because they want to come here and get paid.”

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