Another day besides Father’s Day for rodeo

The annual Panorama (Colville) Pro-West Rodeo is changing its dates 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,” explains 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 (participants’ 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 there 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. “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.