Kennedy once again welcomed rodeo fans from near and far to the 89th annual Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo (MMPR) which took place on July 23 and 24.
Jill Lowe (Moose Mountain Rodeo Association) notes that the event saw an attendance that was comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
“We had an unprecedented number of people who came out for the rodeo last year, when the restrictions were eased. It was an exceptional year! This year, our numbers were down a little from that. But the crowd we had this year was definitely comparable to what we were seeing before COVID – which is great,” she said.
Lowe says that the annual Demolition Derby held in conjunction with the rodeo did suffer some setbacks this year.
“There was one individual who had planned to have three cars in the Demolition Derby. But unfortunately, an accident meant that person couldn’t come that weekend. Another individual who planned to come lives in the Wapella area and was too busy dealing with the mess left behind from the recent storm in that area to attend,” said Lowe.“The organizers and fans were a little disappointed. But there was nothing that could be done about the situation. Next year, organizers are planning to change it a bit and only have trucks in the derby. So, we’re hoping that will mean a good show next year.”
Lowe says that along with the exciting rodeo action that fans have come to expect at the MMPR, two new features were added to the rodeo that proved to be popular.
“The Daring Divas Trick Riding Team got a really good response from the crowd. That is something that one particular sponsor (Walker’s Water in Kipling) decided to bring in for the show. And I think we’d certainly enjoy having the Daring Divas back again next year. And people loved the mutton busting. We had so many entries for the mutton busting each day that we had to draw names – because we only had 10 sheep,” said Lowe. “We had approached Nick Hazel – the person who provided the sheep for the Round-Up Rodeo that was held here in June and asked if he would be able to supply sheep for the MMPR. He was able to do that – and I’m really happy he did! That’s certainly something we’d like to have back next year.”
Lowe notes that 2023 will be the 90th year for the MMPR and says that plans for the celebration will soon be underway.
“Now that this year’s rodeo is over – we’re going to be starting to plan for 2023. So far, we’re at the “idea stage” for that. But 90 years is an important milestone. So, we’ll be excited to welcome people back to help us celebrate next year,” she said.