fbpx
Wednesday , 4 August 2021

WPCA cancels two 2021 race events due to pandemic

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association(WPCA) regrets to announce the cancellation of two shows scheduled for the 2021 WPCA Pro Tour.

With less than two months until their scheduled event and no clear COVID-19 guidelines in place related to outdoor live event mass gatherings, the Grande Prairie Stompede has been forced to officially announce the cancellation of their 2021 event.

This marks the second year in a row the Grande Prairie Stompede has been forced to cancel an event that generates over $6,000,000.00 annually to the Grande Prairie economy.

Ticket sales and sponsorship are the two driving forces that generate revenue required for live events to take place. Without a clear understanding or plan on how these sources of revenue can be achieved, it makes holding an event difficult.

The cancellation of the Grande Prairie Stompede will once again have a significant impact on the sport of chuckwagon racing.

The Grande Prairie Stompede, the Grande Prairie Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation along with the business community in Grande Prairie supports the World Professional Chuckwagon Association drivers with over $500,000.00 in combined prize money and tarp sponsorship each year.

These funds are invested back into the care of over 1000 thoroughbred horses and invested into help covering the two months of incurred spring training costs leading up to the Grande Prairie Stompede.

With the 2020 and 2021 Grande Prairie Stompede cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions or unclear guidelines, WPCA drivers have collectively lost over $1,000,000.00 from the cancellation of that show alone.

Along with the Grande Prairie Stompede, Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK has confirmed that the WPCA races scheduled for June 10 – June 13 will be unable to take place as a result of COVID-19 restrictions that affect the financial position of hosting the event.

With no clarity from the governments related to outdoor mass gatherings for live events, organizing committees are faced with difficult decisions that include the cancellation of their annual events.

The economic impact on these communities is in the millions of dollars. From the competitors and their families who stay and shop in a community for a week to the fans and tourists who visit for a couple of days, a number of business sectors are affected. Hospitality, General Retail, Grocery Stores and Gas Stations are a few of the business that lose out from cancelled events.

We share in the disappointment with our event organizers. These cancellations affect fans, sponsors, volunteers, the business community along with the competitors, their families and in the case of the WPCA the horses.

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association takes COVID-19 very seriously. We are committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of the general public along with our fans, sponsors, volunteers and members. When COVID-19 attendance guidelines for outdoor live events has been communicated, we will be prepared to work with our event committees to ensure the guidelines are in place and followed and everyone is kept safe.

The WPCA still has a season planned with 36 nights of racing over 8 events and continues to work toward solutions to ensure a 2021 race season takes place.

About Jena Colbourne