Wild Horse Racing Teams do their best to wrangle broncs at the 2016 Quesnel Rodeo. (Karen Powell photo)

Wild Horse Racing Teams do their best to wrangle broncs at the 2016 Quesnel Rodeo. (Karen Powell photo)

Quesnel Rodeo Club cancels May rodeo due to COVID-19 health orders

Non-spectator events are still planned for July and August by the club

The Quesnel Rodeo Club has canceled the first-weekend event of 2021 after consultation this week with Northern Health.

“We had the opportunity to maybe wait this out,” president Ray Jasper said of the province’s COVID-19 circuit breaker restrictions that had been extended to Tuesday, May 25.

“But that doesn’t make sense for a rodeo — we had to make the decision this week whether we move forward or not.”

The non-spectator, competitor-driven event would have taken place May 29 and 30.

Jasper said they are holding out hope things will continue to improve for their next competitor-only rodeo set for July 16, 17 and 18 which could attract up to 150 contestants each day.

Read More: Saddle up: Quesnel Rodeo Club planning three 2021 events

Posted by Quesnel Rodeo on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A two-day trial event was held by the Quesnel Rodeo last September to test the concept and economics of a contestant-driven event.

“The COVID plan that we have this year has actually stepped it up a bit so we don’t feel we’re putting anyone in danger,” Jasper said, noting Northern Health supported their plan.

“Hopefully with things getting better all the time I don’t see them not wanting us to not go later in the summer.”

Another two-day rodeo could follow in mid-August.

Jasper said it’s important the club tries their best to keep the sport of rodeo alive and said any cancellations are a blow to everyone.

“We have so far got a great response from businesses and our sponsors even though there won’t be fans in the stands,” he said.

Read More: PHOTOS: High School Rodeo takes centre stage in Quesnel

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