Putting on PRCA rodeos during COVID-19 has been a challenge.
Now, rodeos such as the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo are dealing with another type of adversity delivered from Mother Nature.
Since Feb. 14, Texas has faced record-low temperatures, snow and ice made roads impassable, and the state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply, leaving millions without access to electricity. More snow was expected Wednesday night into Thursday.
The record snow storm has caused the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo to have to rearrange its schedule at Freeman Coliseum.
Binion Cervi, the primary stock contractor at the rodeo, described what the last several days were like.
“We have a lot of good sub-contractors, and we are banding together to make it work,” Cervi said. “The facility here that San Antonio has is state-of-the-art, which has been a saving grace. This is a 100-acre facility like eight miles from the rodeo grounds and they built pens. It’s almost like a mini ranch. The contractors are just happy to be back rodeoing. We are working through all the changes together and have been out of power (as of Tuesday night) like the city has.”
Cervi said plenty of people are helping.
“The San Antonio staff has been really accommodating,” Cervi said. “They got us a water truck, so we haul water because the lines have been freezing. It’s just a big group effort, and that’s the only thing that has not made this a total disaster.”
Dealing with weather like this is nothing new to Cervi because he’s been a stock contractor at the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver. San Antonio, however, isn’t equipped for this weather.
“The resources are not here for this type of weather, and the elements are extreme for here,” Cervi said. “This is just another day at the (National Western Stock Show & Rodeo). There have been times when Chase (Binion’s brother and partner stock contractor) has had to back the truck up to the loading alley for the finals in Denver and had to move two feet of snow and there’s a sold-out crowd.
“They have around three to six inches of snow here (in San Antonio), but they don’t have the resources to deal with this.”
Cervi acknowledged he and other stock contractors in San Antonio are trying to make the best of the situation and finish the rodeo.
“We all sat and talked, and we were like, if we want to rodeo so bad just be thankful they haven’t canceled,” Cervi said. “The leadership of the San Antonio rodeo has pushed through so many obstacles, and this leadership is what is making this rodeo happen. It’s refreshing to see that type of leadership, and that’s why you don’t mind all these obstacles when you know you have a leader who is not going to give up.”
Courtesy of PRCA