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Superodeo

Competing in the SuperodeoRodeo has been an integral part of Northlands history since at least 1950, when the Western Superodeo began its existence as the Edmonton Exhibition Rodeo. It later became the Golden Jubilee Edmonton Rodeo, then the Rodeo of Champions.

The Canadian Western Rodeo, which was created out of its predecessors in the mid 1950s, became the Superodeo in 1975, and Northlands Superodeo in 1979.

By 1981, Superodeo had become Canada's largest indoor rodeo of that time, with attendance in excess of 40,000. As part of the Northlands 'western' list of attractions, each of the featured rodeo sports enjoyed a commercial sponsor and related success.

1981 also saw the introduction of matched competitions, wherein the best Canadian cowboys were pitted against their American cousins in contests of strength such as Saddle Bronc and Calf Roping.

Canadian Finals RodeoNot everything was going well, though. The early 1980s brought economic recession and, with that, trouble to the Superodeo. The event still attracted riders from across the country, roping more World Champion Cowboys in 1982 than in any previous year, but public attendance had fallen off sharply.

The matched events were still a hit, and the other Northlands 'western' attractions—a Stock Show and Sale, Farm and Ranch Show and Sale, and Pedigreed Seed Show—continued to draw crowds, but these numbers were not strong enough to help the rodeo. It was clear by 1986, when attendance dropped again, that this attraction would not survive the economic crunch without innovation.

Ladies barrel racer In 1987, organizers introduced a 'Meet the Cowboy' night along with rodeo entertainers, hoping to generate greater interest. This was followed by the introduction of a 'Miss Superodeo Pageant' in 1988. A year later, some shows even began appearing in the afternoons instead of at night, hoping to attract greater crowds during the day. Meanwhile, the Superodeo competitive roster had also been whittled down to just eight events.

Rodeo clownBy 1991, the Northlands Superodeo was gone entirely. The farming and equipment shows that had surrounded it continued on either as stand-alone events, or as part of other attractions. The torch was then passed to the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which had existed parallel to the Superodeo since 1974. The CFR is still going strong today.

The Northlands Superodeo would not have lasted for as long as it did without contributions from volunteers, businesses, and the community at large. In that way, then, it was a success.

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Superodeo

Canadian Finals
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