This past month has been a challenging learning experience for us all. During this time, we lost the ability to showcase all of the major CPRA events in one of our largest markets and at one of our more prestigious rodeos. What saddens me is that this outcome could have been different had we done an adequate job of properly supporting each other, and had we managed our venues proactively. The final outcome of Cloverdale may also have been different if a little more time had been allowed for dialogue before the final decision on that rodeo had been made.
We have a great responsibility to be an asset to our industry, not a liability. We MUST do our part to keep our sport PROFESSIONAL. Any negative situation, such as what occurred, sets a precedent that may affect the entire sport of rodeo, not just rodeo in Canada. Remember, we are the benchmark for many organizations; the amateur organizations and the junior/youth organizations look to us to be role models maintaining the highest standards. Are we truly doing all that we can to ensure the future of professional rodeo for generations to come?
I challenge each of you to look at your own contribution to the sport. Are you following the rules? Are you raising the standard? Are you maintaining the highest level of integrity? How can you expect your association to be greater than the sum of its individual parts unless these parts epitomize the best that the sport has to offer? We all love professional rodeo. We already see the good in what we do. Now I am asking you to “help us help you” to show the rest of the world as well.
The situation in Cloverdale will continue to be dealt with for some time. You will see changes in tie-down roping coming from your board with the cooperation of the tie-down ropers.
We cannot ignore the reality of what occurred. Our world is changing and we must change or risk losing some things that are very important to us. What happened in Cloverdale was the first warning shot towards government legislation of our sport. Be proactive.
The contestant involved with the incident in Cloverdale was fined and was suspended. He received a three rodeo suspension and a $1,000 fine. The suspension has been served and the fine has been paid. I must add that he is appealing this ruling.