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

Do you have a comment about this story? email: rebecca.dyok@wltribune.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Quesnel Cariboo Observer