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The Kindersley Indoor Rodeo committee is celebrating another nod as the 2018 Rodeo of the Year for the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA).
The Rodeo of the Year award is voted on each year by all competitors at the CCA Finals Rodeo. Even competitors in the junior competitions get a vote in the process. Kindersley’s rodeo was announced as the winner in October at the CCA Finals Rodeo held in Swift Current.
According to a CCA official, the association picks five rodeos as finalists for the award and the Finals Rodeo competitors vote for one of the finalists. It is the third time in eight years the Kindersley Indoor Rodeo has won the award including back-to-back Rodeo of the Year nods in 2011 and 2012.
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Tyler Ritchie, president of the Kindersley Indoor Rodeo, said the committee made a quick announcement after the Finals Rodeo, but members were busy and a more formal announcement came near the beginning of 2019.
He noted that the win in 2011 came in the first year for the rodeo after the Exhibition Stadium fire in 2010. The committee pulled together a big rodeo in short order in 2011, and the effort was recognized by the association and its top competitors, he said. The committee went bigger in 2012, and Kindersley took top honours again as a result.
Ritchie said it was “mind blowing” to win Rodeo of the Year in consecutive years. He said indoor rodeos offer a different experience than outdoor rodeos, and upgrades such as brighter lights have improved the experience at the West Central Events Centre.
The rodeo president said the committee has been able to create a favourable atmosphere, and organizers “always try to make it feel like a finals rodeo.” There are roughly 60 other CCA rodeos trying just as hard to put on a good event, so he is “pleasantly shocked” to win and supporters of the rodeo have made it possible.
“We’re very fortunate to have the support,” he said, referring to corporate sponsorship and other contributions. “With all that support, we can kind of turn it into what we want it to look like and I think the cowboys respond (and) the crowd responds to that atmosphere.”
He noted that the committee is blessed to have such great support. Ritchie said it would be hard for organizers to go backwards or do something different after making the rodeo such a success during recent years.
The rodeo in Kindersley features replays on a big screen and a digital scoreboard, and the extra features help the rodeo to stand out, he agreed. The features are nice for spectators, but the committee has also increased prize money and the award affirms that the rodeo is a favourite among competitors.