Positively Osceola asked a number of positive leaders in the community to share their hope and plans for the new year, and how we can encourage and support each other in 2023. We asked Clifton Chapman, the 2022-23 Silver Spurs Riding Club Big Boss to share his hope and outlook for 2023.
The Silver Spurs Riding Club kicked off the 2022 year with our February rodeo recording some of its biggest crowds to date. It was evident that the sport of rodeo is alive and well in Osceola County. We also had the privilege of hosting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during the Friday night performance.
Moving forward through the year, we continued the positive momentum from February and carried it into June where we witnessed cowboys and cowgirls from around the country show off their toughness and skill in all seven rodeo events. While it wouldn’t be a rodeo without our contestants, rodeo fans amaze me with their appreciation for this country and our freedoms, giving credit to the many veterans who have fought and sacrificed so much. We are always proud to offer free admission to Veterans at our June Rodeo, where we recognize them as well as first responders during the performance. Our fans never miss a chance to show their gratitude with a standing ovation that will take your breath away. This year, following our June rodeo, we were honored to be able to host the 2022 Special Olympics USA Equestrian Competition in the Silver Spurs Arena, a first-time-ever event for the organization.
In July I took over as the Big Boss of the Silver Spurs Rodeo (what most call president in their organization!) and the excitement of an incredible 2022 rodeo season led us to believe that our October Boots, Bulls, and Barrels event was going to be just as successful. Unfortunately, we faced a massive roadblock like many others when Hurricane Ian set its sights on our community. After much discussion, our Board of Directors decided to cancel the event and turn our focus to whatever needed to be done in the aftermath of the storm. Sadly, many community residents had to deal with extreme flooding, and first responders worked around the clock to help everyone get to safety. The action was taken quickly by several of our members, and we met at the arena, lit up the grills, and started cooking all the hamburgers and hotdogs we had bought for the rodeo concession stands to provide a hot meal to those men and women that were working tirelessly. We cooked and delivered over 2,000 burgers and 1,000 hotdogs around the community. It was a sad day to see the devastation that affected so many, but there was also a sense of hope when we looked at how quickly our community came together to help others. People they have probably never met and potentially could never see again were helping them or being helped.
As we head into the beginning of 2023, I am optimistic this year will bring much excitement and success. We are beyond excited to be putting on the 12th Annual Monster Bulls, the Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade in Downtown St. Cloud, and of course our 150th professionally sanctioned Silver Spurs Rodeo on February 11th, 17th, 18th, and 19th.
I have been attending Silver Spurs Rodeos since I was born. While I don’t want you to miss a single event – it’s important to know that every ticket you purchase promises an incredible, family-friendly show that is completely run by volunteers for the benefit of the community. The Silver Spurs Riding Club stands ready to serve the community in 2023, just as we have for the last 80 years.