THE STAVELY INDOOR PRO RODEO 60 YEARS AND COUNTING

A stormy sky with the threat of rain swept over the nickering horses but nobody was thinking about that as the ropers exercised their partners on the grassy field next to the arena.

Because, for the next couple of hours, they would be plying their rodeo trade inside the Stavely Arena at the Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo, the oldest indoor rodeo in Canada.

The Stavely rodeo started a long time ago, back when horses were still a major part of every farming and ranching operation, but the indoor rodeo was first held here back in 1956. And, despite a few ups and downs, it's been held here ever since.

The rodeo features all the regular events - saddle bronc, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wresting, barrel racing and bull riding - as well as team roping, steer riding and a wild pony race.

And, thanks to that steel roof overhead, neither the contestants nor the spectators have to slop through the mud - or even snow - of a mid-May, southern Alberta, weekend.

Folks, of course, don't show up just to watch the rodeo. Like every other community event, the Stavely rodeo is a as much a social event as a sporting one.

It's only just the start of the summer of 2017 rodeo season and you'll be able to find a rodeo, somewhere, pretty much every weekend for the next few months.

But the Stavely Indoor Rodeo is done for this year and it won't be back until the second weekend of May, 2018. If you're heading to a rodeo anywhere else, best pack an umbrella.

The Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo will be back in 2018.

MIKE DREW ON THE ROAD

A LITTLE EXTRA

MAY 14, 2017

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