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Dale Claypool at Cowtown

Cowboys and cowgirls will be in for a change in 2016 at the Canadian Western Agribition when the Canadian Cowboys Association Rodeo moves to Swift Current following a decade-long partnership with Agribition.

 

The CCA announced the move following its annual general meeting held in Regina on February 6 and 7.

 

“It was a better growth opportunity with Swift Current and their community, and what they were prepared to invest in it,” said CCA vice president Kevin Larson.

 

The rodeo has been held in conjunction with Agribition for the last 10 years. Before that it was held in Saskatoon, and started out in Lloydminster in 1979.

 

The CCA has a long history and is one of most well-known rodeo associations. “We’re one of the only associations that considers themselves to be semi-pro,” said Larson. Contestants were known to go to other rodeos with different associations in Edmonton. The CCA never stopped the growth of its contestants.

 

According to Agribition CEO Marty Seymour there are no hard feelings between Agribition and the CCA. When the CCA told Agribition about its decision, they had mixed feelings. “I recognize they were doing something that was in the best interest of their organization… I think they handled the thing very professionally in the circumstances that were dealt and we’ll continue to build and grow on what we’re doing here,” said Seymour.

 

Looking towards the future, Agribition will continue to be a world-class event and grow. “If you look at Agribition we’re an international event that 122 000 people coming from across Saskatchewan, all over the world, all with different interests. There’s 90 different events here in six days. So I don’t know what the affect will be on the show at this point it’s only speculation. But I would say that the scope and scale of our event is that we will continue to grow our show regardless,” said Seymour.

 

“Some are pretty disappointed especially. They thought it was such a nice fit for Agribition including myself. I’m kind of disappointed," said  Dale Claypool, the western wear and tack manager at Cowtown in Regina.

 

“Well it will probably hurt us a little bit (at Cowtown) because we don’t know what’s going to take place… But on a plus side we have a store in Swift Current so we’re pretty happy that that will really help that store, business-wise of course," said Claypool.

 

"It really stimulates the local economy,” said Michael Boutilier, communications coordinator with the City of Swift Current.

 

With the move, the rodeo will move back to the original date of the third week in October, which will mean warmer weather for competitors and people attending.

 

“I think they will be happy, ideally every contestant is in it for the prize money and if the prize money grows with the rodeo I think it’ll be great for everyone,” said Larson.

 

The annual general meeting of Agribition is set to be held on April 10. It is yet to be determined what they will talk about in regards to the rodeo move. The future of Agribition will still include rodeo though. “Rodeo has been a big part of Agribition’s entertainment lineup. Rodeo’s always been a big part of what we do and we’ll continue to do rodeo,” said Seymour.