The annual Panorama (Colville) Pro-West Rodeo is changing its dates from FaÂtherâ€™s Day weekend to FriÂday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23.
According to Panorama RoÂdeo Association Board (PRA) member Wyatt Cowley, the change comes in part because this year is a leap year, causÂing this yearâ€™s rodeo to share the same calendar space with events in Oregon and SouthÂern Washington and the NaÂtional College Rodeo Finals in Casper, Wyoming.
That could mean a drop in the number of cowboys who might otherÂwise compete in Colvilleâ€™s Pro-West RoÂdeo stop.
â€śWe ran into this problem four years ago when we had a leap year then,â€ť explains Cowley. â€śWe know that change isnâ€™t always welcome with open arms, but we thought we would try it and see what happens.â€ť
The rodeo association has also voted to drop the Friday night Bull Bash and the SunÂday event as well. The annual rodeo parade that takes place Saturday, June 22 will still go on as scheduled.
â€śWe would still have bull riding, of course, but since it will only be a two-day rodeo, there wonâ€™t just be one eveÂning dedicated to that sport,â€ť says Cowley. â€śSunday has just been really hard for us to fill spectator-wise. We havenâ€™t gotten a lot of return on SunÂday.â€ť
It costs around $20,000 for the PRA to put on the Pro-West Rodeo every year, which includes money added to the purse for the winner of each event (participantsâ€™ entry fees go toward each purse too). The most popular event for participants is barrel racÂing, with around 150 to 200 enÂtries.
Unfortunately, bareÂback and bull riding entries have fallen over the past sevÂeral years.
â€śWhen I was growing up, it seemed like there was a bull rider around every corner and behind every bush, but weâ€™ve been short on them and bareÂback riders for a while now,â€ť admits Cowley.
The plan, Cowley says, is that by putting the rodeo back a week, it will save competing cowboys and cowgirls money on travel expenses by coinÂciding with rodeos in nearby Newport and Tonasket.
â€śHopefully, that will help us draw more contestants to put on a better rodeo,â€ť says CowÂley. â€śWeâ€™re still going to have a great rodeo and the feedback weâ€™ve gotten on the change from former contestants has been positive.â€ť
For more information, call Christy Iverson at 684-3301.