Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hailey rodeo rejoins IMPRA circuit

Guest opinion by Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club

Guest opinion by Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club
Board of Directors

Recently the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club has been plagued with insinuations that we are giving up our traditional programs and activities because certain past officers were not allowed to continue to produce a PRCA rodeo at the Rodeo Arena in Hailey. It is our wish to inform the public of the reasons for returning to the IMPRA circuit We hesitate to enter our explanation as a 1etter to the editor because there has been an undercurrent of deceit involved with their attempt to allienate the cooperation of the Hailey City Council and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce with the Sawtooth Rangers. We have no desire to start a situation whereby rebuttal or public apathy would be involved We would simply appreciate your assistance in a clarification to our fans of the reason for our decision to return to the production of an IMPRA rodeo.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Bill Bobbitt, president, 788-4996; Bob Hoffman, vice president, 788-8534; or Shelly Shoemaker, secretary, 788-4235.

The following statement was approved by the Board of Directors:

Father Time sometimes has the ability to play strange tricks on us. In this valley we often hear the words "things have changed so much." Many of us can picture the changes quite vivid1y. Sometimes we are allowed the luxury of stepping back, viewing the path and clearing the way to better success as any business person will do to spark new life.

That was the goal of the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club, who has produced your Days of the Old West Rodeo for the City of Hailey for over 50 years, when a few years back we were asked by one of the stock contractors to log onto the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) program. At the time the presentation seemed reasonable. Wholeheartedly we entered that program only to find out that the quality of our performances has deteriorated. A number of problems "hit the fan," so to speak.

PRCA packs its own rules, forcing us to change many of ours such as providing only one event for women. In order to draw PRCA members to compete at Hailey, which is by the way in a very out of the way area for the July PRCA circuit, thousands of dollars had to be raised to compete with other rodeo committees to obtain any participants. Although there was a significant drop in the size of our events we managed, with a few exceptions to sign up the least qualified competitors; thus a lesser performance, plus monies raised here did not stay here. Not to mention the fact that our fans endured increased gate admittance.

Because the Sawtooth Rangers have been a backbone to out Western Heritage in the Valley, we have this year elected to return to the Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (IMPRA) who has triple the number of PRCA members and accepts both professional and non-professional competitors. The record shows that the large purses provided in Hailey automatically draw the best of the Intermountain contestants giving us thumbs up for quality performances and your increased enjoyment.

We look forward to seeing you at the arena July 2, 3, and 4 during the Hailey Days of the Old West Fourth of July celebration with all the glory of our cowboy and cowgirl heritage.

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