ODESSA, Texas ( ABC Big 2 / FOX 24) – The Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo kicked off Thursday night at the Ector County Coliseum, but things are looking a little differently this year.
Jim Wise, President of Sandhills said they will only be seating 1,600 people in the Coliseum rather than the usual 5,000 people.
“We won’t have people around you because we will have separation between groups,” Wise said.
But Wise said more people are coming to Sandhills since other rodeos and livestock shows across the country are canceled.
“Entries are up about 30%,” Wise said. “We have 300 steers, 90 heifers and then we also got 300 sheep and 150 goats.”
Srock show organizers said this will be a plus for Odessa since Sandhills bring more than $3 million annually. Stock show participates like Reed Decker is just glad he gets to show his livestock.
“There have been several shows that have been canceled on us,” Decker said. ” But luckily the stock show committee has kept this going and we’re super grateful for that.”
Many of the stock show participants are high school students and they spend a lot of time preparing their animals for show. This year, the hops this stock show will be a success for them.
“I’m just looking forward to us to having all of the shows and getting the go,” said Tres Spencer, a high school stock participant. “Obviously seniors this is their last year to do it because their junior year kind of got scrammed too because last year they all
got canceled to mid-season.”
And being a part of the livestock show also brings some valuable lessons for the participants.
“You’re also able to compete with others and learn how to be a gracious winner and gracious loser,” said Miranda Skaggs. ” I think that’s a really good skill to have.”
But despite COVID-19 Sandhills will also show their gratitude to the city.