Entire rodeo season, including Canadian Finals Rodeo, in question due to COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Entire rodeo season, including CFR, in question due to COVID-19' Entire rodeo season, including CFR, in question due to COVID-19
WATCH ABOVE: All sports are suffering through the pandemic. Rodeo has quietly been cancelling events, all the while trying to keep its head above water by reducing staff and applying for government support. Quinn Phillips has more on the season that probably won't come to be – May 25, 2020

Saddle bronc rider Layton Green is itching to get back on a bronc after missing much of last season due to injury.

He might not have a lot of luck as rodeo events in Canada have been cancelled through August. He’s trying to find the positives in this situation.

“I kinda needed some time to heal up anyways,” said Green. “I’ve had some prolonged injuries.”

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He’s getting work done around the home, which has included working with some bucking horses he will eventually sell.

“Just trying to stay sharp and enjoy some time that we usually don’t have to ride some colts around,” said Green.

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But the reality is, this is rodeo season and it’s the time that he makes his money. The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) said it hands out around $8 million in prize money to the contestants each season.

No rodeo, though, hurts the small Western Canadian communities that host the events, as it can be some of their biggest fundraisers. There’s also the stock contractors who provide animals for rodeo; livestock can bring in tens of thousands.

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Behind the Game: Brett Gardiner on life as a rodeo announcer – May 17, 2020

Right now, events are cancelled through the end of August. There’s a few events still on the slate for September, but are looking less likely as the spring rolls on. And then, there’s biggest event of the year in the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer in November.

The CPRA’s general manager Jeff Robson is worried the organization’s marquee event and top moneymaker won’t be able to go ahead.

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“The hardest part in hosting an event like that, of that magnitude, is there’s a community involved, there’s sponsors involved,” said Robson. “The contestants… if we have no rodeos, how do we qualify contestants to get to a year-end finals?

“I’d love to say I see some glimmer of hope in the horizon that says we could have it, but I think practically speaking it’s not gonna happen.”

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