Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo is making changes to its 2014 event.
The organizers of the largest annual rodeo event in the Orange County, the Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo, have announced the event will move from its traditional summer spot in the third weekend of July to spring. The rodeo will now tentatively be held the last weekend in April and is scheduled for Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26.
According to Jamia Harris, co-chairperson of the Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo, weather issues were just one reason the organization made the switch.
“We are certainly hoping for less rain this year,” Harris said with a laugh. “We’ve had weather related problems the past three years, so we are definitely hoping to deal with less rain and certainly less heat.”
As much as weather has impacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo, including 2012 when the event was rescheduled twice and took place in September and in 2013 when heavy rains canceled the traditional Grand Entry event, competition with other rodeo events across the region played a role in the decision.
“We have found that our competitors were having to choose from multiple other rodeo events that seem to take place on that same weekend each year,” Harris explained. “By moving the rodeo into April, we thought it would make it easier on our competitors to choose our rodeo, and, in turn, give us less competition against other rodeo events.”
Making the decision to move the event to April instead of July was the easy part. Now comes the hard work, according to Harris.
“We have a lot to do in a short amount of time now,” she added. “It’s a shorter time period now with this turn-around. We have to start working on the grounds and the arena now and we have to start getting our sponsorships lined up sooner than usual.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo is once again accepting sponsorships and donations. Through such contributions and donations, the organizers are able to provide multiple scholarships to area high school graduates in order for them to continue their education.
“Our sponsors are very important to us because that is what allows us to give these scholarships,” Harris continued. “We are very fortunate that many of our sponsors come back year-after-year to support us, and that is one of the big reasons our rodeo is always a success every year. Hopefully, this year will be the best ever.”