Thursday, 06 September 2018 10:49

40 years of excitement at Patricia Rodeo

Written by  Jamie Rieger
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Shelby Burns entertains crowd in Patricia Sept. 1. Shelby Burns entertains crowd in Patricia Sept. 1.

The current Patricia Rodeo has been around for 40 years, but it was long before that, in the 1950s, when the rodeo grounds were built and small one-day events were held in the community.

Even then, unique events were a part of the rodeo schedule. One of those events was the Patricia Derby where a lot of ground was covered from the start to the finish line.
"We used to have the Patricia Derby that started in Brooks and finished in Patricia. The wild pony race that we have now is a throwback to the Patricia Derby," said Patricia Roping Club treasurer, Bruce Musgrove, adding that the racetrack that sits around the rodeo arena was part of the original plans for the site.
"The original group of guys in 1950 built the racetrack that is there, so the landscaping for it  was already there," he said. "Orville Standquist (pioneer rodeo cowboy and chuckwagon racer who passed away in 2012) and my uncle, Tom Musgrove would race in the Patricia Derby and he would always  say, 'horse, we gotta win'."
Since its resurgence in 1979, the Patricia Rodeo, hosted by the local roping club, has grown by leaps and bounds. The rodeo started as a small one-day event and has grown into a three-day weekend of family fun and rodeo entertainment. It's not uncommon these days to see more than 2,000 spectators, many who bring their campers and stay for the whole weekend.
"The trailers start coming in on Wednesday and they come from all over; Calgary, Coaldale, and Saskatchewan," said Musgrove. "Our goal is to make it so families can come out for a fun, inexpensive weekend."
Besides the traditional rodeo events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and team roping, this year's rodeo, held on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and 2, also had Around the Track Wild Horse Racing, Heavy Horse Log Skid, and the Lil Britches rodeo. The Wild Pony Race was a new addition to the 2018 rodeo.
Chuckwagon and chariot races, by the Alberta Professional Chuckwagon and Chariot Association, have become an annual favourite for the spectators and are always held in the evening, following the rodeo.
"They've been really good to work with," he said.
Musgrove noted that the Patricia Rodeo would not be the successful rodeo it has grown into without the help of volunteers.
"Everything here has been done by volunteers and volunteer work. The volunteers do it all, land leveling, tilling, seeding, irrigating, welding, finding donors, sorting, parking, all of it," he said.
 As well, some of their sponsors have been with them since the beginning and so have many of the spectators.

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