Hidalgo youth rodeo continues on county fairgrounds despite state health order

Coronavirus New Mexico

LORDSBURG, N.M. (KRQE) – A junior rodeo is still drawing big crowds of participants to the fairgrounds in southwest New Mexico. On top of that, the Hidalgo County commissioners gave them the green light, ignoring the state health order banning mass gatherings.

The fate of the Hildago Youth Rodeo was up in the air amid the coronavirus pandemic in New Mexico. “I did discuss with my board at that time that we probably wouldn’t be able to authorize utilization of our fairgrounds,” says Tisha Green, the county manager.

During last week’s county commission meeting, the board disregarded Green’s suggestions to allow the rodeo to use the county’s fairgrounds. After hearing members of the Hidalgo Youth Rodeo Association speak, the board ultimately decided to let them hold the rodeo.

Videos and photos from this past Thursday shows the rodeo continued. Spectators were not allowed, but there were a couple of people seen in the stands. Masks were not enforced.

The Hidalgo County EMS Director told KRQE News 13 over the phone that the board’s decision allowing the rodeo to continue is frustrating. He says he cannot afford to have anyone from his staff to get sick.

“We have very limited staff as it is. If they go down, because they’re the ones caring for the COVID patients if they have to be transported. We have no hospitals here. They have to take them else where,” says Green.

The board is expected to meet again this week to decide if the rodeo should continue. County Commissioner Joel Edwards tells KRQE News 13 that even if the county is given a cease and desist or fined, they still plan on keeping the fairgrounds open to continue to allow the rodeo. New Mexico State Police say an officer did respond and gave the rodeo a verbal warning.


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