The annual Panorama (Colville) Pro-West Rodeo is changing its date from Father's Day weekend to Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23.
According to Panorama Rodeo Association Board (PRA) member Wyatt Cowley, the change comes in part because this year is a leap year, causing this year's rodeo to share the same calendar space with events in Oregon and Southern Washington and the National College Rodeo Finals in Casper, Wyoming. That could mean a drop in the number of cowboys who might otherwise compete in Colville's Pro-West Rodeo stop. We ran into this problem four years ago when we had a leap year then," explained Cowley. "We know that change isn't always welcome with open arms, but we thought we would try it and see what happens.
The rodeo association has also voted to drop the Friday night Bull Bash and the Sunday event as well. The annual rodeo parade that takes place Saturday, June 22 will still go on as scheduled.
We would still have bull riding, of course, but since it will only be a two-day rodeo, there won't just be one evening dedicated to that sport," says Cowley. "Sunday has just been really hard for us to fill spectator-wise. We haven't gotten a lot of return on Sunday. 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 (participant's entry fees go toward each purse too). The most popular event for participants is barrel racing, with around 150 to 200 entries. Unfortunately, bareback and bull riding entries have fallen over the past several years. "When I was growing up, it seemed like their was a bull rider around every corner and behind every bush, but we've been short on them and bareback riders for a while now," 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 coinciding with rodeos in nearby Newport and Tonasket Founders’ Day. “Hopefully, that will help us draw more contestants to put on a better rodeo,” says Cowley. “We’re still going to have a great rodeo and the feedback we’ve gotten on the change from former contestants has been positive.” For more information, call Christy Iverson at 684-3301.