Douglas High rodeo moves to Carson’s Fuji Park |

Douglas High rodeo moves to Carson’s Fuji Park

by Andy Bourelle

Although rain has created fields of mud at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, the Douglas High School Rodeo is still being held this weekend – just not at the fairgrounds.

The rodeo was moved to Fuji Park in Carson City because of safety concerns for the contestants and the animals.

“Everyone agreed it was going to be unsafe to do it the way it was,” said Fred Young, director of the Douglas High School Rodeo Club. “We’re just fortunate we had another place we could go. We would have had to cancel (the rodeo).”

Young said there was nothing anyone could do to avoid the situation.

“The problem is too much rain and not enough sunshine,” Young said. “We’re very happy with the help from Douglas County parks and recreation. There’s nothing they could have done other than turning on the sun and stopping the rain. And that’s ridiculous.”

Peter Knight, Douglas County parks supervisor, said the soil and drainage at the two locations are vastly different. While both received the same amount of precipitation, the Carson City park has sandy soil and better drainage. The Douglas County Fairgrounds, which has poor drainage, has clay soil and holds water.

“(The Douglas County Fairgrounds) just holds water and doesn’t drain off. It’s just a big sponge, basically,” Knight said.

The decision to change locations was made on Wednesday night. While the fields were muddy all week, the club and the parks and recreation department decided Wednesday was the last day the decision could be made because numerous preparations and changes would have to be made prior to the competition.

“If we were guaranteed good weather the rest of the week, we could have made it work,” Knight said. “But it was pouring down rain, there’s standing water on the field and they’re calling for more bad weather.”

Knight said he checked the Douglas County Fairgrounds Friday morning and estimated the grounds were still only about 50 percent of the condition they need to be in.

“If you would walk out there, you’re foot would sink 6-plus inches in the mud,” Knight said. “It’s a bad situation.”

Young said the change is not a permanent one, and the Douglas High School Rodeo Club expects to be back in Carson Valley for next year’s rodeo.

The times for the events have not changed, and the rodeo starts at 8 a.m. today and tomorrow.

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