Here at The AgriNews, we like to picture ourselves riding tall in the saddle, so we’re excited by the proliferation of rodeos which have busted out of the gate across Eastern Ontario over the past few years.
Not only are rodeos and related events good for the equine industry, they’re good for the rural economy in general.
Like fairs and festivals, they attract visitors who spend money on gas, restaurant meals, accommodation and other goods and services; if they like what they see, some of those folks come back again and bring their friends.
Here in the east, we’re obviously cottoning on to the drawing power of a good rodeo jam-packed with cowpokes, cowgirls, their mighty steeds, and the atmosphere that rides into town with them. It’s wholesome fun for the whole family and another way to teach city slickers about agriculture and rural life.
Recent additions to the area rodeo circuit have occurred in Lombardy which earlier this summer took in an event that could no longer find a home in Chesterville. In Russell Sept. 22, the travelling Rawhide Rodeo Company will once again "perform" if we can use that sissified word. And the first-ever Spencerville Stampede, a two-day event that stirred up plenty of excitement, took place July 28-29.
As the latest rodeo to join the Eastern Ontario herd, Spencerville deserves a tip of the old Stetson for smoothly combining all of the traditional components such as bareback and bull riding with live music, a community dinner, tractor show, vendors’ village, beer garden, and a passel of activities for kids.
Organized locally by egg producer John Beking and family members – we have some of their minis in the fridge right now - it was the third stop in the New Holland Pro-Rodeo Series, attracting professional riders from across North America.
Only two questions remain to be asked: Will it happen again? What’s an egg guy doing putting on a rodeo?
Calling the rodeo a tremendous success attracting about 2,000 visitors each day, daughter Colleen Beking, who’s trained in event management, made it clear that, if she has her way, the stampede is coming back in 2013.
As for an egg guy putting on a rodeo, the local Rotary Club was asked first but had to pass. Rotary member John Beking took the idea back to the family and they decided take the reins and make it happen.
We’re all the better for it.