ECA Review Reporter
Changes are on the way for the Coronation Pro Rodeo, if local organizers get their way.
The most significant change, according to Rodeo President Curtis Perry, will be the date. Hoping to capitalize on a date with historically better weather, the rodeo will be held on Saturday, July 6.
“The past couple of years we got rained out,” said Perry. “We cant change the date and guarantee good weather but if we back off into July it will be a little drier.”
Competing rodeos, such as the ones in Gooseberry Lake and Killam, have had Coronation organizers fighting to put spectators in the seats.
With Coronation being an official stop on the Pro Rodeo circuit, finding competitors to take part in the local rodeo hasn’t been a problem. Dwindling attendance has been an issue for rodeo organizers and a challenge Perry is working hard to face.
“It wasn’t working the way it was,” Perry said. “We didn’t want to let the pro rodeo go without trying a date change.”
While the date change hasn’t been given an official nod by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, unofficial talks with CPRA officials have Perry confident that the date change won’t be a problem. Indeed, an examination of the 2012 Pro Rodeo schedule shows only one rodeo in Alberta scheduled for the first weekend in July, located in Benalto.
“Without people in the stands to watch it’s hard to pay the bills,” Perry said. “It’s very important to give people who live in the area something to go out and do, and have an atmosphere of good community spirit.
To that end, Perry is planning to bring back some older, fan based events such as mutton busting, boy’s steer riding and races.
There has also been talk about improvements to the rodeo grounds, including the large berm that supports bleachers to the west of the arena.
Although Perry acknowledges that problems at the venue do exist, the committee isn’t prepared to deal with the issues in time for the 2013 rodeo season.
“We have to do something but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year, due to time constraints,” Perry said.
Drainage at the rodeo site continues to be an issue. While many outdoor rodeos continue in the rain, the Coronation rodeo grounds have a tendency to flood.