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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Sun Parlour Rodeo returns for 18th successful year

by Adam Gault

More than 5000 eager rodeo fans from across the region, and beyond, descended on Ruthven this past weekend for the 18th annual Sun Parlour Rodeo, which featured two spectacular sun and fun filled days of a good old fashioned rootin’-tootin’ time.

The nearly two-decade running event featured more than 200 riders, who took part in a multitude of popular ranked rodeo events, including, bareback bronc riding, team roping, pole bending, barrel racing, and the ever-thrilling bull riding.

“It’s 18-years in the making, and we continue to do it year-after-year because we really truly enjoying giving back to the community,” Sun Parlour Committee Organizer, Stephanie Clark, explained. “Providing a unique opportunity for families to enjoy together, and just to get people out and enjoying something special for the summer.”

The Sun Parlour Rodeo is an event that does truly give back to the community. Over the past 17-years, the rodeo has raised over $400,000 for organizations and charities across Essex County.

This includes more than $108,000 to the W.E. Care for Kids Foundation, $115,000 to The Hospice of Windsor-Essex County, and $135,000 for Erie Shores Healthcare.

As for this year’s recipient, the rodeo committee will come together after the conclusion of the 18th annual event to decide which charities and organizations will benefit. If the 2018 numbers are repeated, the 2019 event proceeds will be close to $35,000.

“We just want to try and help as many people as we possibly can,” Clark said. “Last year, we gave back to The Bridge (youth resource centre) in Leamington, we donated to Ronald McDonald house, and we also donated to the Bank Theatre (in Leamington).”

From the perspective of the competitors, many of whom come from across North America to compete, the Sun Parlour Rodeo is an important stop on their tour, as the event can been seen as a stepping stone to moving up to some of the largest rodeos in the world, such as the Calgary Stampede, or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“It’s a fully sanctioned rodeo, all points count for the riders,” Clark explained. “It’s a big weekend for them. There’s a lot of prize money at stake, and they look forward to coming.”

The organizers and Pavao family, thanked the many sponsors and supporters who contribute to keeping the Sun Parlour Rodeo one of the region’s favourite family-friendly traditions.

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