Rodeo Club Forced To Move Locations After Nearly 40 Years
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Members of the Sand Springs Round Up Club are trying to figure out where they’ll go after the city council voted to end a partnership that’s been in place for decades.
"For us, we are just stepping into the long-time dream only to find out that Sand Springs has decided to discontinue most of what we wanted to do here," said club member Jared Brown.
Brown and his family are new to Sand Springs. They moved there after years of searching for the right town to raise their children.
Not long after they settled in, the family found the Round Up Club.
"The kids are learning about barrel patterns and pole patterns and different things to ride. We came out last Sunday to the play date and, just, the community that is here is amazing," he said.
Madilynn Brown said, "You get to learn a lot of stuff about horses and you spend a lot of time with your family and friends, and it’s just a lot of fun."
Monday night, the Sand Springs city council voted to end their use agreement with the club, ending a decades-long tradition Brown was hoping to pass along to his children.
"I think there is incredible value in it and I want to fight to see it last so that my kids can be a part of it," he said.
But Sand Springs Assistant City Manager Daniel Bradley said club leaders left the City no choice.
"I grew up here in Sand Springs and in 78-79 I helped build the arena and was actually a club member, very active," he said. "The attendance has really dropped off, there is just not much activity, even when the rodeos, what rodeos they had, were going on."
Bradley said he started investigating the club in March.
"I tried to keep them informed, I tried to be as fair with them as I could," he said. "The park gave the Round Up Club until June the 5th to get some activity going, clean up the place. There were some things that they needed to address."
But Bradley said that didn’t happen, and club leaders didn’t let their members know about the City’s request.
As for Brown, he’s still fighting to give the area another chance.
"Good things need to be fought for,” he said.
The Round Up Club treasurer said they are looking for another piece of land to move the arena, but funding is an issue.
They’ve started a petition and hope that with enough signatures the council will reevaluate their decision, but City leaders said their choice has been made.
The Round Up Club has until the end of December to move the arena off of the property.