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Big changes coming to Vancouver Rodeo

This week’s event likely last at current location as saddle club plans to move

VANCOUVER — More than likely, this will be the last Vancouver Rodeo at its current location.

Riders and horses open Thursday’s performance of the Vancouver Rodeo during the Grand Entry. The rodeo, at the Clark County Saddle Club, is likely having its final run at its current location. The property likely will be sold and the rodeo is to be moved. Photo by Mike Schultz
Riders and horses open Thursday’s performance of the Vancouver Rodeo during the Grand Entry. The rodeo, at the Clark County Saddle Club, is likely having its final run at its current location. The property likely will be sold and the rodeo is to be moved. Photo by Mike Schultz

It is not the end of the rodeo, though.

“It is super important to make sure the community knows that this is not the last Vancouver Rodeo,” said Shyanne Chandler, this year’s Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen.

“This is not the last one. There will be another one. Just at a different location,” she said. “Keep our spirits up and positive thoughts moving on.”

The Clark County Saddle Club, which hosts the rodeo, is in the process of selling its land at 10505 NE 117th Ave. in Vancouver, according to Helen Cole, the director of the rodeo. Eventually, the club will move approximately four miles north, just off Highway 503.

Cole said the club and a potential buyer are on schedule to complete the transaction in January.

“Until you sit down with the title company and you have a check, it’s not final,” Cole said. “There is a 99.9 percent chance it’s going to close in early 2019.”

Which would leave the rodeo in limbo. Cole said it is doubtful the club would be able to develop its new land in time to host a rodeo in 2019.

“If the (current club) property sells on schedule there will be a pause,” Cole said, adding that the time frame for the return of the Vancouver rodeo “has not been established.”

James Garrison, a 3-year-old from California, takes a step to get a closer look at the action at the Vancouver Rodeo. Photo by Mike Schultz
James Garrison, a 3-year-old from California, takes a step to get a closer look at the action at the Vancouver Rodeo. Photo by Mike Schultz

With that in mind, rodeo fans have two more performances this year. The 2018 rodeo began on Independence Day and had a show on Thursday, as well. The next two begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For ticket information, go to http://vancouverrodeo.com/

For some time now, there have been a few who have been able to get a good view of the rodeo from the balcony of their apartments.

Jessica Malik, in fact, said her family was originally going to live in a unit with no view of the rodeo grounds but then the third-floor unit that overlooks the grounds became available. She jumped at the chance.

“This is perfect,” she said. “It’s definitely a perk. I can watch from my balcony. That’s pretty cool. I can put my kids to bed and watch the rodeo. That’s pretty nice.”

Jessica Malik and 4-year-old Myah enjoy the view from their third-level balcony from their apartment complex next to the Clark County Saddle Club. This likely will be the last rodeo at this location, though. The club is in negotiations to sell the land. Photo by Paul Valencia
Jessica Malik and 4-year-old Myah enjoy the view from their third-level balcony from their apartment complex next to the Clark County Saddle Club. This likely will be the last rodeo at this location, though. The club is in negotiations to sell the land. Photo by Paul Valencia

She, too, is bummed that this likely will be the last year of the rodeo at this location. Again, nothing is official, but more apartments are a possibility.

No matter where the rodeo ends up, this is the end of an era. Club members are saddened by the change but also looking forward to the future.

Chandler said she “cried like a baby” because she was so thrilled to be named Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen this year. The 21-year-old from Ridgefield noted that her parents have been club members for 30 years, meaning the club has been a part of her entire life. To represent the club, and the rodeo, for this week’s performance is special.

Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen Shyanne Chandler said she wants the community to know that this is not the last Vancouver Rodeo. The event might have to take a break, but she believes it will return at a future date at a different location. Photo by Mike Schultz
Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen Shyanne Chandler said she wants the community to know that this is not the last Vancouver Rodeo. The event might have to take a break, but she believes it will return at a future date at a different location. Photo by Mike Schultz

She said it is not just the rodeo that is leaving, but all of the events associated with the club. That includes roping competitions, drill teams, game nights, barrel racing, and the summer bible camp. Chandler has been a part of just about everything at the club.

“I was raised here, literally,” Chandler said.

“It will be upsetting to not see it here anymore,” she said, adding that it will be tough to see the grounds turn into apartments or something other than the saddle club.

Still, new memories will be made at the new location. And, she said, the rodeo will return, all because of the people involved in rodeo. It has become a tradition, a week on the calendar people look forward to every year.

“You meet friends and they become family, just from rodeo,” Chandler said.

More rodeo photos:

The announcer at the Vancouver Rodeo prayed for the health of the athletes and animals prior to Thursday’s performance. Together, they make for a great team, to team up for an entertaining night for the fans. Photos by Mike Schultz

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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