Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uh oh! She's on a rant!

The Cow Palace in San Francisco California has been putting on the Grand National Horse and Stock show for over fifty years. It is ( was) legendary! The Rodeo has been the highlight of many of our memories- I have been going to the CP  since I was almost old enough to walk, been haunting the halls of the Palace alone or with a friend since I was old enough to get there on my own- about the age of sixteen. I love that place and the history that goes with it.
The Grand Nationals have changed a lot in the fifty years I've been attending. It went from a big world class horse show to a mediocre AQHA show. There are no more Saddlbreds,Arabians, Appaloosa's Jumpers or Show Buggies. There are only a few really die hard Quarter horse owners( usually ridden by trainers) and this year they added cattle classes -sorting, penning and cutting- but those were fought for and over seen by the local Cutting club. I love seeing those classes here, but I would love to see a better AQHA show ( it was poorly advertised and managed in my humble opinion).

The Rodeo- the REASON for the Cow Palace  has gone from a spectacular event to a fairly run of the mill Rodeo. But what really shakes the snot out of my boots is the price this year! Just to get in to see the show- and sit in the nose bleed seats- is a whopping $24.00. A box seat is $40.  The last time GNR came to town the seats were General Admission $12, and Box Seats $15. Now I can see raising the set price a little bit-but the Cow Palace seats HUNDREDS! They really didn't need to raise the price of admission that much!

This will only serve to keep the general public away from the Cow Palace. The kind of family that would want to come to the show or the Rodeo won't be able to afford it- and thus (here is the real raw spot) hundreds of kids who want to see a horse or a sheep or a pig or a cowboy IN REAL LIFE won't have the chance. And where is the future of our sport?- In those shiney eyed kids that come to the shows!

I think that the Powers That Be want to knock down the Cow Palace- it sits on some prime California real estate. Some of us die hards had banded together and sent petition after petition to the city to save the Cow Palace. We thought we won when they agreed not to knock it down-but now I see they were just being subversive. By jacking the prices, and making the competitors fight to even come to the show, the attendence will be down. Then they can say that there is no more need for the Cow Palace- no  one comes to the show ( exagerated shrugs) We don't know WHY ...! Sigh* Guess we'll have to built that shopping mall and houses on the property like we wanted to instead...aww too bad....

I will go to the CP- I will go to the Rodeo. I am a grown up and have the means. But I have made my displeasure known in letter form to the administators and if anyone else feels the same way I urge them to do the same.
And I will be contacting the AQHA to voice my disapproval there as well. With all of the really great AQHA shows that happen in this area I am sure that we can do better- we have only to ask the right people to step up and help. I will help- for free - to get this done properly.  here is my link in case anyone asks.

Here is the Cow Palace Link


Carolyn said...

You gettem Barb!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

One of our mares was a Cow Palace Grand Champion, back then (late 70's) that was something so special it was considered almost as good winning the World. Sad to hear it's went from one of the highest honors to a ho-hum show.

And the Cow Palace rodeo? Oh yea, that was right up there with San Antonio and Houston.

It's not really like CA needs those few more houses/strip malls that either seem to burn up or slip away in the mud. ;)

Maia said...

I don't know what to say here. I've seen this happen in other venues and other sports so many times it makes me sick. If you can do something, more power to you. If you need help, say so and I'll be right there with you.

This has to stop. You go girl.

Shirley said...

It's hard to fight the money moguls.Good on you for working on this. Can you get the NRCHA involved too? And maybe the inner city groups that take kids there. Is there any way to leave the Palace there and make it more multi functional?

Building Life in AK said...

Keep fighting the good fight!
It will never be the same without the Cow Palace.