This year’s Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo has been canceled because of the spread of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which primarily affects horses and cattle, across Southern California, Rancho Mission Viejo officials announced Monday, July 31.
The two-day rodeo raises funds for local charities, bringing in more than $2.8 million over its 20-year history. In 2022, the event raised more than $150,000 for nonprofits, including the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, Children’s Health of Orange County and other organizations.
“This is a difficult and heartbreaking decision, but it is also the correct decision given the continued spread of the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus,” Tony Moiso, chairperson and chief executive officer of Rancho Mission Viejo, said in a media release.
Moiso added that Rancho Mission Viejo’s primary concern rests in the safety of its animals and participants.
According to the media release, all sponsorship and ticket money will be returned. More information about the refunds can be found at rmvrodeo.com.
“Although canceling this year’s rodeo is disappointing, our planning team will begin working on next year’s event,” Gilbert Aguirre, executive vice president of ranch operations for Rancho Mission Viejo said in the release. “We hope all of our friends, fans and sponsors will plan to join us in 2024.”