Fickle April weather caused a favorite Clovis Rodeo month event to be cancelled, but Clovis Rodeo officials say the rodeo itself will always take place, rain or shine.
The Clovis Ranch Rodeo scheduled Saturday, April 9 was called off early in the morning after a weekend rainstorm left the Clovis Rodeo grounds wet and muddy.
“We determined for the safety of our contestants we would cancel the Ranch Rodeo event,” said Vince Genco, Clovis Rodeo Association arena director. “While we must work rain or shine in the activities we do every day on our working ranches, we also put the safety of our livestock first.”
A community favorite for many years, the ranch rodeo pits teams of four people on horseback against each other in competitions that mirror the work done every day on cattle ranches. The events include roping, team branding and cowboy trail classes, but the Clovis Rodeo association directors decided early Saturday morning that the water and mud posed a risk to riders competing in those events. The event has not been rescheduled.
According to Genco, the regular Clovis Rodeo slated for Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, April 24 is held regardless of weather. The Clovis Rodeo arena is designed to shed water through drains located under the dirt, and members are sometimes called upon to dig channels to assist in that effort.
Some rodeo fans may remember that two years ago there was a significant amount of rain in the days leading up to the 100th Clovis Rodeo. At one point the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was called in to hover over the arena and help push standing water into the drains.
Whatever happens, the show must go on.
“Under Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rules, the professional sport of rodeo will take place rain or shine,” said Genco. “We will make adjustments to events as necessary to protect the safety of contestants and livestock.”