ALTAMONT — The Illinois High School Rodeo Association and the Altamont Rodeo Committee have tentatively agreed on a three-year contract to keep the IHSRA finals in Altamont at the Effingham County fairgrounds.
Outgoing IHSRA President John Muffick said the contract is a good agreement for both parties.
Incoming IHSRA President Cary Newbolt said, “Altamont is the place to have the finals, and the association wants to do whatever we can to continue to return to Altamont.”
Altamont Rodeo Committee Chairman Clyde Barr and the IHSRA Board of Directors have been discussing a new contract for the past year since the existing contract expired at the conclusion of the 2012 finals.
A tentative agreement was reached between the IHSRA presidents and Barr on June 14 prior to the beginning the state finals. That agreement was approved by the board of directors on June 17.
“We still have to write all the wording but all changes have been approved,” Barr said. “Our committee hopes to keep things like the state finals coming to Altamont and the fairgrounds. It is a boost to our community and the local economy.”
Altamont hosted several events over the weekend of the IHSRA finals, including citywide garage sales and a farmers market.
This past year marked the 20th anniversary of the state finals coming to Altamont.
“I really watched what goes on here in Altamont during the week and Effingham for the parade,” said Rick McQuire of Verdin. “The number of people working behind the scenes is incredible and no other place can offer us what Altamont offers here.”
The new agreement will run through the 2015 state finals rodeo.
Each year the rodeo brings hundreds of families to the Altamont area for the four day event.
This year, 80 high school rodeo contestants competed for a chance to advance to the national finals in Wyoming.
The IHSRA State Finals is the largest rodeo in Illinois.