Despite 2020 being epic for all the wrong reasons, it wasn’t all that bad, and the Cave Creek Rodeo is proof.
Cave Creek Rodeo Days was recently recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as one of the top five best “Medium Rodeos of the Year” and was awarded with the “Outstanding Rodeo Committee Partner Award” by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. This is no small feat, as these recognitions are international in the professional rodeo world.
“It is a pretty huge honor for us,” said Beth Cornell, the president of Cave Creek Rodeo Days.
Although Cave Creek Rodeo Days has been recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) before, taking the Outstanding Rodeo Committee and being recognized as one of the best rodeos on the world circuit is on another level.
Cornell explained that these awards are essentially the Super Bowl of rodeo. So, although Cave Creek Rodeo Days did not win best Medium Rodeo of the Year, the nomination was still an honor, and it is thrilled to be the Outstanding Rodeo Committee during a year that had canceled so many rodeos and other events worldwide.
“It says a lot to win an award like that,” she said.
She added that it is even more of an honor because they won best committee during a pandemic and essentially provided a framework for how rodeo could function during unprecedented times.
According to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), Cave Creek Rodeo Days was the first committee to “kick open the chutes” at the end of May last year after the industry was trying to adapt to its new normal.
“Rodeo committees have long been the backbone of the rodeo industry and that was never more apparent during the 2020 rodeo season as we all dealt with the challenges of COVID-19,” stated the WRPA in announcing the winners.
The Cave Creek Rodeo Days 2020 event proceeded, but the committee had to make the hard call to close it to the public with no attendees in the stands, subsequently requiring them to refund all purchased tickets.
“The WRPA is recognizing them for being the leaders in getting the rodeo business back on track with the Outstanding Rodeo Committee Partner Award,” it said.
While the Cave Creek Rodeo is elated to be awarded and recognized for 2020, it is looking forward to the 2021 Cave Creek Rodeo Days event.
“The 2021 rodeo is happening, but it will be at 50% capacity,” Cornell said.
“We have the arena, and we will start selling tickets at the end of January.”
Ticket sales are final this year, and it is recommended that patrons purchase tickets early if they want to be guaranteed a seat.
“Because we had to move the dates, our rodeo platform will be a little different this year,” she said.
“There will be no Sunday performances this year.”
Cave Creek Rodeo Days is April 1 to April 3 at the Cave Creek Memorial Arena Rodeo Grounds.
The public performances are the evening of Friday, April 1, then in the afternoon and evening of Saturday, April 2.
Cornell said, “If you are looking to get involved with the rodeo as a volunteer, now is the time.”
Anyone who would like to purchase tickets or volunteer can find more information at cavecreekrodeo.com.