Sand Creek Rodeo making strides
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 03, 2018
While the Rupununi Ranchers’ Rodeo in Lethem has become a fixture on the Easter calendar of events, the Sand Creek Rodeo also provides an impressive line-up of exhilarating experiences. What started as a simple cow riding activity has grown into a popular exhibition of cowboy skills.
This flagship event, which is usually held after the massive Rupununi Rodeo, attracts visitors from across Guyana and other countries.
Declaring the rodeo opened yesterday at the E. Andrew Rodeo Ground, in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) Chairman, Brian Allicock explained that over the past five years the event has expanded and seen major improvements.
“It was not like this, there was no chute, pavilion, commentator, or stalls. Now we have a few stalls, the commentator’s booth, fence line and the corral has expanded to hold more animals. We now have a stage for the band to perform. This was all possible because of the people from within the regional structure, mainly Lethem. The business people especially, who put their efforts together to host this grand event here.”
According to the Regional Chairman, plans are underway to have the rodeo incorporated as an annual event in Region Nine’s developmental plans.
Bareback bronco (horse riding), bull riding and line dancing were just some of the activities which entertained the audience. Roasted alligator, liver, beef, pork, chicken, monkey liver soup, cassava bread and other Indigenous delicacies were also in abundance at the event.
Chairman of the Sand Creek Rodeo Committee, Fransisco Gomes noted that initially, the rodeo had the “minimum of activities and zero side attractions” however, with persistence and much effort, the event has been significantly transformed and continues to make strides.
“For the past five years, it has been growing. We’re focusing on improving the stalls for proper seating accommodation, building a benab for the dance floor and the main sitting area. We would also extend our pavilion, so we have lots of things to work on for the future.”
The chairman said the community will soon receive its tourism grant from the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs. This will be invested in the rodeo and other tourist attractions.
The event also has its economic benefits for vendors who anticipate huge profits. Dorothy Simon said all her produce is usually sold out, earning her a sizeable profit. “Last year everything we had sold out and this year it’s even better; so far business is going great.”
Residents and visitors alike agreed that the rodeo is a major attraction worth witnessing.
Member of Parliament, Alister Charlie was part of the large crowd that enjoyed the thrills and spills of the fearless vaqueros. “Being from Sand Creek, this is one of the most anticipated events. Sand Creek is now becoming a gateway in the Rupununi in this part of the hinterland. Since it (the rodeo) began here, every year it is improving and becoming more popular.”
First-time visitor, Morbheinn Nicol from Scotland said: “I have never been to a rodeo in my life so coming here is great, the people here are fun and it’s really enjoyable.”
Those who were successful in the 22 competitive events were awarded cash prizes for their efforts.
By: Ranetta La Fleur