The Clark County Saddle Club is getting ready to saddle up and ride north.
“There is no Vancouver Rodeo this year,” said board member Don Hanley. That makes 2019 the first interruption in the annual festival of cowboy skill challenges and exhibitions, always held around the Fourth of July, since it began in 1970.
Hanley said the Saddle Club has fingers crossed about raising enough money, and getting construction happening quickly enough at its new property, to host a rodeo event in July 2020. That space is much larger than the previous site.
“Basically, the city moved in around us,” Hanley said. The Clark County Saddle Club’s longtime facility, 14 acres at 10505 N.E. 117th Ave., used to be out in the countryside, he said, but over the last few years the neighborhood has rapidly filled up with apartment buildings, single-family homes, businesses, new roads and traffic.
“About 300 (new neighbors) got free admission to the rodeo last year, because they can see it all out their second-floor windows,” Hanley said. Meanwhile, he added, new traffic patterns have made it daunting for local cowboys and cowgirls to drive their horse trailers to the site.
“It became obvious to us that it was getting impossible. We started looking a few years ago” for a new location, he said.