Illinois axes subsidy for National High School Rodeo Finals

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From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2011:

Illinois axes subsidy for National High School Rodeo Finals

SPRINGFIELD,  Illinois--The Illinois Department of Agriculture on January 27,  2011 notified the National High School Rodeo Association that it can no longer afford the $1 million annual cost of underwriting the National High School Rodeo Finals,  a 10-day event held in Springfield in 2000,  2001,  2006,  and 2007,  due to have returned to Springfield in 2012 and 2013.

“While Illinois is claiming cancellation of the rodeo is due to budget cuts, the negative publicity generated by SHARK’s expose of the rodeo’s animal cruelty year after year undoubtedly played a part in the decision,”  said SHARK founder Steve Hindi.  In 2007 the National High School Rodeo Finals lost the sponsorship of Choice Hotels,  including 11 leading midprice national motel chains,  two years before the sponsorship contract was to expire.
“The early termination,  for rules violations and animal abuse,  followed a review of video documentation supplied by SHARK,” Hindi said,  crediting SHARK staff member Janet Enoch for successful liaison with Choice officials.
The 2007 National High School Rodeo Finals drew 1,500 contestants and 10,000 spectators,  said Associated Press.  The Springfield Journal-Register,  a sponsor of the event,  claimed attendance of 50,000,  apparently counting visitor days rather than individual visitors.
The National High School Rodeo Finals have for more than a decade rotated among Springfield;  Farmington,  New Mexico;  and Gillette,  Wyoming,  where the 2011 Finals are to be held.  Gillette cannot host the 2012 Finals because the arena is already booked for an RV event,  said the Gillette News Record.  The News Record noted that Farmington “has had trouble making money on the rodeo, though there has been no such problem in Gillette.”
—Merritt Clifton

Merritt Clifton
P.O. Box 960
Clinton,  WA  98236




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Cell:  360-969-0450
Fax:  360-579-2575

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