5/28/22, 2:18 PM
Earlier this week Ranch Matters (RM) posted a report regarding the sudden cancellation of Bill and Judy’s Rodeo and the tax money they used, $23K, to purchase their Rodeo Panels, titled, WHAT DOES $23K LOOK LIKE?
As reported, Bill, Judy and the Board of Directors have been less than forthcoming regarding the actual specifics behind their rodeo cancellation, reaching out to an attorney to cover their tracks. On April 11, President Bill Burt and Ranch Manager Judy Lapora issued their rodeo cancellation notice that included the following statement: “…ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL, we will not be discussing the circumstances that caused the termination of this year’s rodeo until the proper time.”
“ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL” ?
“YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT…”
Our story identified the Ranch Boneyard as the storage location for the rodeo panels, so we asked Manager Lapora if an AFE (Authorized For Expenditure-Expenses over $5K) was required for the $23K expenditure.
Referring to Bill and Judy’s panels, as rodeo panels, appears to be a misnomer. The panels they purchased, again using tax money, are not rodeo rated. Their panels carry the following WARNING STICKER: “For livestock confinement in non-crowding areas. Horse safe for round pens, arenas or temporary stalls. NOT for crowding of uncooperative livestock.”
Not being rodeo aficionados, RM decided to dig a little deeper to find out what panels are appropriate for rodeos.
We were told the panels sitting in the Ranch Boneyard were purchased from Coastal in Redmond so we started there. “Cody”, working in the ranch equipment section was shown our pictures of Bill and Judy’s panels and he immediately stated, “You wouldn’t buy or use those panels for rodeos-they’re not strong enough.” Cody referred us to his supervisor, “Scotty.”
Supervisor Scotty took time out of his busy day and explained what kind of panels should be used for rodeos. He too agreed with Cody’s assessment and added the panels purchased by the Ranch are not rated for rodeo use and said,
“Bulls would barrel right through.”
According to Scotty, rodeo panels should carry the designation “Rough Stock and Rough Stock Arena.” The designation should also include that the panels can be used in “crowding situations.”
Scotty stated he was aware of the controversy surrounding the Ranch rodeo and confirmed talking to Ranch Manager Judy Lapora, by phone “2-3 times” about a month ago. Scotty stated Lapora asked him to hold off delivering the panels because she was “experiencing some legal issues.” He added, the panels had been “paid in advance” and it was because of the legal issues that she wanted the delivery delayed.
Lapora also asked him if the panels could be returned and according to Scotty, he said, “yes- we’ll take care of it.” Lapora never got back to him. Scotty told us the panels can still be returned.
NOTE: RM emailed Manager Lapora and requested a copy of the purchase order/invoice- Timelines are Important.
Scotty took us to his office to show us reference materials available for further rodeo equipment research and professionals to consult. He suggested we check out the panels used by the Sisters Rodeo.
Following Scotty’s advice, we drove to Sisters and ran into one of the Sisters Rodeo Directors, Rick Wageman and showed him our photos of the panels stacked in the Boneyard.
Mr. Wageman stated, “Why would the Ranch buy them for a rodeo?” He added, “We would never order panels to begin with like that for a rodeo.” Wageman stressed the importance of having the correct safety equipment to avoid liability issues. He stated,
“Having the correct equipment/panels is necessary for cowboy safety, fan safety and livestock safety.”
Interestingly, we hit the Sisters Rodeo at the right time. According to Wageman, they just had delivered some rodeo rated panels and he showed them to us and allowed us to photograph them for this report.
Wageman ended his comments by saying,
“The Ranch should have done some serious research before hosting a rodeo.”
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