Sun shines on rodeo

Predominately sunny long-weekend skies meant a good turnout at this year’s Cloverdale Rodeo.

Predominately sunny long-weekend skies meant a good turnout at this year’s Cloverdale Rodeo.

In all, more than 20,000 spectators turned out to watch one of five competitions over the four days of the 63rd annual rodeo.

“This has been an awesome year,” said Penny Smythe, who has chaired the rodeo for the past eight years. “We’re weather driven and when we have good weather the crowds come out.”

Saturday and Sunday were sell-outs, she said, while rain during yesterday’s final “didn’t hurt that bad.”

The rodeo, the second highest paying in Canada ($360,000 in prize money) drew the best riders from across Western Canada and the U.S.

It adopted an “invitational” format last year, dropping its calf-roping and steer-wrestling competitions in response to protests.

Smythe, who has been involved in the rodeo for more than 20 years, said the new format is doing well.

“It’s taken us a little while to get things sorted out,” Smythe said. “But all in all the cowboys have been very receptive and supportive of it.”

 
 
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