Dust off your cowboy boots because the rodeo’s coming to town.
The Case IH Ultimate Rodeo Tour returns to Calhoun Stables in Breslau next weekend for a full-scale western rodeo in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Event coordinator Matt McGinty says the show will have all the same events as in previous years – bareback, ladies barrel racing, bull riding, pole bending, saddle bronc, youth barrel racing and youth steer riding.
“We have more entries than ever before in the history, so much that they have to call what they call ‘slack,’” McGinty said.
The show will start at 6:30 p.m. on the Friday night, but competitors will begin as early as 3:30 p.m. because of the increase in entries. Slack in rodeo is defined as the “overflow” of competitors who wouldn’t fit into the allotted rodeo schedule. They’re still eligible for prizes. Participants tell organizers if they prefer to be in the slack or the show portion and then the names are put in a computer draw which decides who competes when.
“I believe it’s just becoming more popular and it’s in the right community. I think the Kitchener-Waterloo, Woolwich area, I think maybe it’s equidistance from Quebec and the States where everybody comes from. It just seems to be the spot. We’ve done a few over the years and this one’s been our largest and longest history,” he said.
He says the appeal for the cowboys and cowgirls is not only to participate in their passion, but also to support the Canadian Diabetes Association through the spectator ticket purchases.
The rodeo is modeled off the Dodge Ram Rodeo.
“Their animals are the best, their structure’s the best, their reputation’s the best, they’ve got the best sponsors, the best recognition, the show runs the smoothest out of any. We’ve seen other rodeos and I’ve gone to a few and none of them compare to the quality that’s provided,” he said.
And there’s plenty of cash prizes up for grabs for the competitors; $200 for the youth category winners, $500 for the pole bending winner, and $1000 for the bareback, ladies barrel racing, bull riding and saddle bronc winners.
“My favourite is the world’s most dangerous sport, it’s bull riding. You won’t see that anywhere else. People can seriously get hurt, so there’s a lot of admiration that goes out to these guys. People are really on the edge of their seats because we’ve seen some bad injuries, but we’ve seen some great accomplishments too,” McGinty said.
They save it for the end of the show.
He says the cowboys and cowgirls come out both for the chance of winning cash and also for the thrill of competition. You either win or walk away with nothing.
“I think most of them do it for the pride and the thrill. If you get close to that prize it’s a big, big payoff but I don’t know that they come expecting to win. I know that they come hoping to win,” McGinty said.
And the show will go on, whether Mother Nature cooperates or not.
“This runs rain or shine. Sometimes it’s more fun in the rain to be honest.”
The Ultimate Rodeo Tour rolls into Breslau on Aug. 26. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. The rodeo runs approximately two hours. Tickets will be available at the event at 1590 Durant Rd, by calling 1-800-516-5810 and online at www.ultimaterodeotour.com.