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Championship Rodeo charges into Picton Fairgrounds

-Darlene Shantz photo

A full house of spectators hooted and hollered as the second annual County Championship Rodeo charged onto the Picton Fairgrounds this weekend.

The Prince Edward Agricultural Society and the municipality brought the Rawhide Rodeo back to town for the second annual event. Last year, the inaugural event attracted more than 1,700 spectators from across the region.

“The chance to see professional rodeo is a real draw for many people,” said Lisa Lindsay, manager for the County’s Community Centres, and Event Marketing. “Furthermore, events like the Farmers’ Olympics bring together members of the agriculture community.”

The Farmers’ Olympics saw The Milk Team of Phil Prinzen, Clay Byford, Kane Rutgers, Steve Prinzen and Jason Cournyea compete against The Next Generation Farmers Tyler Prinzen, Joshua Prinzen, Kevin Penning, Ian Penning and Byron Koning. They raced on bouncy horses and in sack races, roped a hay steer and finally took at least an eight second ride on a mechanical bull. (See photos below)

More than 200 professional contestants from five countries (Canada, United States, Mexico, Brazil and Australia) competed in a variety of rodeo events Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

In addition to the rodeo competitions, the two-day event offers a variety of family activities including youth rodeo fun, the Farmers’ Olympics, live music, concessions, and vendors.

Rodeo photos by Darlene Shantz
Click here to see more of her work
at Point of View Photography by Darlene Shantz on Facebook 

The Farmers’ Olympics brought laughs and cheers Saturday afternoon:

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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  1. Fran Renoy says:

    I agree Janet. What an amazing photographer Darlene Shantz is.

  2. Janet Mooney says:

    What fantastic photographs! Thanks to Darlene Shantz.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Perhaps one needs to investigate how they get the horses and bulls to buck, before commenting on it not being cruel. I challenge any male out there to go through the same experience and not agree that it is not only inhumane – it hurts!

  4. Susan says:

    I suggest this discussion wouldn’t be taking place if human beings didn’t require entertainment at the animals expense. Do we really require this activity to satisfy our crave for excitement? The mistreatment of rodeo animals is quite well documented.

  5. Marnie says:

    It is a safe assumption that there is some supervision of rodeos by animal welfare organizations so the statement that the animals are prodded and shocked to perform is hardly the way that all rodeos operate. The one the comes to Picton appears to be very professional and it is unfair to suggest that its organizers shock their animals.

  6. Jack Dall says:

    These animals are true professional athletes with values exceeding $100,000 in many cases. The owners responsible for the health of these animals take their health and condition very seriously.
    They are not abused but in fact are cared for far and above what is the acceptable norm for livestock. Rodeo is a sport and injuries can and will occur but as in all other sports every precaution is taken to prevent this from happening. The perception or notion that these animals are suffering is based on a lack of knowledge of the rodeo world and what takes place behind the chutes.

  7. ADJ says:

    I guess Mark has never worked or toured the slaughter line at a meat packing plant.Just saying your barking up the wrong tree here…take your fight to the decision makers. This is smalltown Ont. trying to keep their Fair board alive anyway they can.. Welcome your ideas if you have any that are new and involved in agriculture. Until then there’s always fish burgers!

  8. Paul Cole says:

    Its not like these animals are being beaten caged and not being fed they are cared for. Maybe rodeo animals should be monitored for signs of depression through behavioural issues and treated accordingly. Maybe they enjoy the things they are doing in relation to the rodeo. I’m sure Veterinary Experts know what to look for. I personally do not see anything wrong with the rodeo and the animals seem cared for like anything else there will be bad apples and the bad apples need to be dealt with accordingly .

  9. Mark says:

    A good money maker justifies poking, prodding, electrifying, chasing , twisting necks and roping all in high humid temperatures. I don’t quite get that entertainment value.

  10. Julie says:

    Charles, the rodeo has nothing to do with county heritage- it’s only been here two years, and in positive your ancestors didn’t spend time strapping up bull’s reproductive organs in order to make them angry enough to buck around while spectators cheer. They treated their animal partners with respect as they ploughed fields together.

    Ian, drinking wine does not harm animals- I don’t understand the comparison you are trying to make with this analogy.

    Marnie, I think if rodeos are stopped, people will stop breeding animals for rodeos. I believe that the type of person who would mass slaughter animals simply because they were no longer economically viable is exactly the type of person who should not have control over other living beings. I think county people are resourceful and would find other ways to work with these beautiful creatures.

    And I also want to point out that other sporting events like horse races do indeed get protested. I support a ban no that as well. I am not singling out the rodeo- I am lumping it with all the other spectacles that treat animals like objects designed for human entertainment and pleasure.

  11. ADJ says:

    Then that’s like saying it’s ok to put up more sidewalk patios because someone else is doing it…weak!
    Take your case to the higher courts and leave the small town shows and fairs alone. When it’s banned then things will stop….right now it’s popular and a good money maker for the Ag. Society.

  12. Marnie says:

    The rodeo should not be singled out while other sports such as horse racing get a pass. And Mark I still wonder what you think would happen to rodeo livestock if all rodeos closed down tomorrow.

  13. Mark says:

    The non protest of other events you mention does not make the treatment of animals in rodeos acceptable. That’s like saying it’s ok because someone else does it.

  14. Marnie says:

    Question, Mark. If those bucking broncs and bulls suddenly found themselves without a job what do you think would happen to them? Do you honestly believe they would be rehomed as saddle horses and pet bulls? Why is rodeo cruel but harness racing and flat racing considered okay in the public eye? On the hottest days of summer what race horse ever said “I want to see if I can beat any horse they run against me to the finish line?” Harness horsemen and jockeys use whips to encourage speed. Race horses die on the track. But who protests this? If rodeo is cruel, so are these sports. Some rodeo events should be banned but those bucking broncs probably pitch without flank cinches. If they were not rodeo horses they would be meat.

  15. Mark says:

    Hmmmmm. Quite the take away. From alcohol to a ban on meat! The subject is mistreatment of animals for entertainment purposes. I called for a ban on nothing.

  16. Ian says:


    According to the WHO, alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million deaths per year, accounting for 5.9% of all deaths.

    If you will voice your support for a ban on advertisement of all county alcohol consumption and production (wineries, restaurants, etc.), then I will support your call for a ban on the production of “authentic, organic, locally-sourced, sustainable” meat in the county.

    Oh my dear Lord!

  17. Mark says:

    I as well do not support the rodeo. In this day and age I would have thought that the mistreatment of animals would have ceased rather than being advertised and supported by our municipal government. Heritage doesn’t mean supporting something that is wrong just because it was done prior.

  18. hockeynan says:

    Way to go Charlie.No truer words spoken

  19. hockeynan says:

    It was good to see everyone enjoying the rodeo.It seemed packed both days so I guess all those people think it was ok.Hope they come back next year.

  20. Charles Pitt says:

    Yes we are a hick town. Founded by empire loyalists. Yes we are barbaric. My family has been here before confederation. My ancestors hunted trapped fished and settled this area, and I honour them by continuing some of those traditions. The rodeo is a celebration of our heritage. We also accept other people’s heritage, and only ask that others accept ours as well. Perhaps by allowing yourself to view things in other people’s point of view maybe you will be more accepting of other people’s opinions.

    After all is that not why so many enjoy our little hick town?

  21. Jim Jones says:

    This is completely disgusting bringing this hillbilly, barbaric, event to this community. I am sure these poor animals are having a ‘gay ole’ time, being thrown around and having their necks twisted about.
    Congratulations, you’ve officially put the Hick back in Picton with this outdated, ridiculous circus.

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