The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed the Come Hell or High Water Rodeo that was planned for May 29th and 30th in Quesnel.
Ray Jasper is the President of the Quesnel Rodeo Club.
“We had some discussions with Northern Health yesterday (Tuesday), and there is just no way to really proceed at this point, so we figured the best thing we can do is not jeopardize the future and hopefully we can go ahead with our July and August dates.”
Jasper says they were also thinking about the high school rodeo competitors in making this decision.
“I know high school is trying to do something in June to get their kids qualified to go to nationals, so one thing we didn’t want to do is jeopardize anything that they’re trying to do as well, because it is really important for those kids to get their finals in so they can move on too.”
Asked about potentially delaying the decision until the last minute, Jasper says they just couldn’t wait to see what happens after May long weekend.
“We initially thought about maybe waiting until the 26th. But, first of all it’s unfair to the committee people that kind of have to put their life on hold waiting to see if we can do something so they can volunteer their time, and then you’re also looking at the stock contractors who plan for weeks to get ready for something like this. It’s not just where you can just have an event, like you’re talking livestock and housing of the livestock and feed, it’s just not possible to wait and do a good job on two or three days notice.”
Jasper says they are optimistic that the other rodeos that they have planned will take place.
He says they plan to add a day in July to make it a three day event on the 16th, 17th and 18th.
Jasper says they don’t expect to have crowds.
That would be followed by a two day event in August on the 14th and 15th at Alex Fraser Park.