Another one bites the dust

Clare Rodeo has been cancelled for the second consecutive year as a result of the challenges associated with running an event while maintaining COVID-19 restrictions.

Clare Rodeo committee president Keith Pluckrose said it was a difficult decision, but it became obvious it would be hard for the community event to balance the cost of putting extra measures in place to ensure the crowd maintained social distancing requirements.

“We waited as long as we could to make the decision, but it came down to COVID,” he said.

“The borders were open enough to get riders in, but controlling a crowd of up to 4000 people and keeping them socially distanced was nearly impossible without putting in 4000 seats and saying ‘sit there’, as well as employing more security guards.

“We would have been in a situation where we couldn’t have a band, or we could have a band but no bar and really that’s where we make our money.

“In the end we just ran out of options, it would just be very hard and very costly to meet the requirements. It’s pointless to run a rodeo if you’re not going to make any money, it just became a lose-lose situation.”

Clare Rodeo is a major contributor to local associations and facilities – both through allowing local groups to have food stalls or run the gate and parking as a fundraiser, as well as through donations of profits back into the community.

Mr Pluckrose said it was disappointing the rodeo could not go ahead, but hoped the community would understand the committee’s decision.

“It’s another event that can’t go ahead, something for people to go to break the monotony,” he said.

“Local community groups will miss out because we’re not making any money and they’re not doing the jobs at the event they do so well.

“It has been a very tough decision to make, but at this stage we’ll look to go ahead on the first Saturday in March, 2022.”