The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition

Cowpokes in clover.

The Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Society, which has existed in some form or another since 1888, received permission to call themselves the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association in 1994. Today, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition is the second largest community rodeo in Canada. In 1948, the year the Cloverdale Rodeo went professional, the association rebuilt the corrals, constructed new chutes and fences and extended the racetrack (which also served as the rodeo arena) to one half-mile. Then, in 1974, Will Senger took over as rodeo chairman and helped orchestrate a fantastic 10-year turnaround. In 1983, the Cloverdale Rodeo attracted more contestants than the Calgary Stampede and packed 20,000 spectators into the arena. Will Senger is still with the association today, as the arena manager.

The traditional exhibition brings agricultural and horticultural exhibits, including arts and crafts, home baking and canning, needlework, photography, sewing and floriculture to the already fun-filled long weekend. The Cloverdale Rodeo made international news in 2007, when it announced that its board of directors had decided they would move away from the traditional pro rodeo format for the 2008 event and drop three events from its program: steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping. Eliminating these three traditional events meant the loss of official sanctioning by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association later announced that the 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair would feature then and henceforth a brand new “invitational” rodeo format designed to showcase the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world. The new invitational rodeo format
means the top 24 contestants in the previous year’s final World Standings in four rodeo events (bull riding, bareback, saddle bronc and ladies barrel racing) are invited to compete at Cloverdale in rodeo performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the top eight contestants in each rodeo event compete in an exciting final to determine the winner of the large prize money payout and honorary Cloverdale Rodeo spurs. Giddy-up.


Post Date:

June 18, 2010