After a 19-year wait, rodeo fans will be pleased to hear that bulls, barrel racers and broncs will be in Ormstown once again on May 12 and 13.
The Ormstown Kubota Pro Rodeo is the product of a partnership between the BlackCreek Rodeo Company, a family-run business based in Eastern Ontario, and husband-and-wife team Bart Chisholm and Emily Dragunas from Howick. Chisholm, a former competitive bull rider, has “rodeo in his blood,” Dragunas says, and though he no longer competes, in the past few years he has begun to get involved with helping at rodeos again.
Last summer, starting with casual discussions and texts, the idea and plans for the rodeo began to grow, and eventually led to a formal agreement with BlackCreek to work together to bring the rodeo back to Ormstown. As soon as the partnership was official, it was “first things first,” Chisholm says, and he started looking for sponsors for the event. The summer tour hosted by BlackCreek is sponsored by Kubota, but local sponsors also needed to be found. Though fundraising can sometimes be the most difficult part of hosting an event like this, Chisholm says he was pleasantly surprised at the Valley community’s response: “I don’t know if I just got lucky, but everything was ‘yes’,” and he already has a full roster of local sponsors.
The rodeo in Ormstown will be the first stop on the tour run by BlackCreek and will be the first time the tour has extended into Quebec. There are still details to iron out in terms of what else visitors can expect to see, such as a possible concert after the rodeo events are done; but there will definitely be all the traditional rodeo events: saddle bronc, bareback bronc, bull riding, calf roping, breakaway roping, team roping, barrel racing, and steer wrestling, as well as the crowd favourite: mutton-busting for kids aged 3 to 6 years. The events will be held in the indoor arena at the Ormstown fairgrounds, meaning that there won’t be any need to worry about rain, and, as Chisholm says, “In the stands, you have a pretty good seat wherever you are,” with a clear view of the action.
When asked what visitors to the rodeo can expect, Shawn Fisher of BlackCreek Rodeo Company says, “two-and-a-half hours of nonstop action!” and Dragunas says, with a laugh, “hopefully a damn good time!”
More information on the event, including where to purchase tickets, will be posted as it becomes available on the Ormstown Kubota Pro Rodeo Facebook page.