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By Eryka Forquer
Due to continuing concerns about COVID-19, Rancho Mission Viejo officials announced plans to postpone the community’s annual rodeo until August 2022.
The RMV Rodeo, a tradition that was launched in 2001, is a two-day event where contestants compete for a purse of more than $200,000 and a spot at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The rodeo features various events, food vendors, and live performances. Tony Moiso, the chairman and chief executive officer of Rancho Mission Viejo, said the large crowd that the rodeo attracts is a concern during the pandemic.
“There are still just too many worries for us to be comfortable committing to host and stage this year’s rodeo,” Moiso said. “That weekend we welcome up to 10,000 guests to ‘The Ranch’ and San Juan Capistrano.”
Proceeds from the rodeo are donated towards local charities in San Juan Capistrano to honor the cowboy tradition of “passing the hat” to those in need. Throughout the span of its 19 years, the RMV has raised over $2.6 million to organizations including CHOC at Mission Viejo, J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, CHOC at Mission Hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley. While the rodeo has been canceled this year, people can donate to the organizations directly.
The event’s 20th anniversary was previously cancelled last year. In lieu of the event, RMV produced a video on the history of the rodeo and the ranch. While the rodeo has been postponed for a second time, Rancho Mission Viejo officials are looking forward to having the event next year.
“Although postponing this year’s rodeo is disappointing, our planning team has set their sights on hosting the 20th Annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in just 15 short months on August 27 and 28, 2022,” Executive Vice President of Ranch Operations Gilbert Aguirre said. “We hope all of our friends, fans and sponsors will save the date now and plan to join us.”