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Sold-out rodeo opens the season in Ormstown

The Valley loves a good rodeo, and the would-be cowboys and cowgirls lucky enough to snag a ticket to the sold-out Ormstown Kioti Pro Rodeo on May 11 and 12 at the Ormstown fairgrounds were not disappointed.

The season opener for the BlackCreek Rodeo Company featured crowd favourites including bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. Many of the riders were decked out in their finest retro wear to match the old-time feel of the arena, which was built in 1914.

A handful of wee junior riders also tried their best to hold on to some frisky sheep to the crowd’s delight during the mutton-busting event. Then the bulls were brought out for the grand finale.

“We were maxed out,” says Bart Chisholm, a former competitive bull rider from Howick, who partnered with BlackCreek to get Ormstown back on the rodeo circuit. “Rodeo is becoming very popular for some reason,” he laughs, suggesting the return of the event is on trend with the rising popularity of country-and-western culture.

The Valley loves a good rodeo, and the would-be cowboys and cowgirls lucky enough to snag a ticket to the sold-out Ormstown Kioti Pro Rodeo on May 11 and 12 at the Ormstown fairgrounds were not disappointed.

The season opener for the BlackCreek Rodeo Company featured crowd favourites including bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. Many of the riders were decked out in their finest retro wear to match the old-time feel of the arena, which was built in 1914.

A handful of wee junior riders also tried their best to hold on to some frisky sheep to the crowd’s delight during the mutton-busting event. Then the bulls were brought out for the grand finale.

 

The sold out crowd cheered almost as hard as the bulls were kicking during the final event of the Ormstown Kioti Pro Rodeo on May 11 Valley cowgirls and cowboys packed the arena during both nights of the season opening stop on the BlackCreek Rodeo circuit which will end its season in October with another run at the Ormstown fairgrounds PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“We were maxed out,” says Bart Chisholm, a former competitive bull rider from Howick, who partnered with BlackCreek to get Ormstown back on the rodeo circuit. “Rodeo is becoming very popular for some reason,” he laughs, suggesting the return of the event is on trend with the rising popularity of country-and-western culture.

Chisholm confirms there have been no complaints and everyone seemed to be pleased with the action.

“The cowboys really wanted to be part of the show,” he says. He adds there were several competitors on the tour who knew the rodeo in Ormstown when it was struggling 20 years ago. “To come back and have it so full just brings back memories,” he says, of when he used to compete.

Junior Morin, who is also known as Guildo the rodeo clown and barrelman, was a bareback rider in the early 2000s. He entertained the crowds during the 2023 edition, posting on social media that Ormstown was his favourite rodeo of that year. “It was really something to clown around in that magnificent vintage place where rodeo has come back to life,” he wrote. Guildo returned with panache over the weekend.

“When you love rodeos, you find a way to stay in it,” says Chisholm.

For those who missed out on high-kicking excitement this time around, tickets are available online via blackcreekrodeo.com for the first Black Creek Finals, set to take place this fall on October 4, 5 and 6.

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