CENTRAL POINT — It didn't take fairgrounds manager Chris Borovansky longer than eight seconds to realize a date change two years ago by the national rodeo circuit would render the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo "not quite as cool" as it'd been in years past.

CENTRAL POINT — It didn't take fairgrounds manager Chris Borovansky longer than eight seconds to realize a date change two years ago by the national rodeo circuit would render the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo "not quite as cool" as it'd been in years past.

For years, the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo had been a high stakes event drawing world-renowned cowboys and cowgirls eager to earn those final dollars, Borovansky said, to assure them a spot in the national finals in Las Vegas each year.

The date change, made by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2006, required rodeo participants to amass the required dollar amount for competing in the national finals by Oct. 1, a month sooner than years past, leaving few reasons for pros to visit the fairground's late-October event. So that precipitated a moving the rodeo up on the dance card.

Borovansky said, "What it meant was our rodeo had little bearing on anything at all other than maybe a late season paycheck. "¦ We tried toughing it out for two years, but that's putting it lightly," he said.

"We could have still done a good quality rodeo and not done the national circuit, but we wanted to maintain our long-standing tradition that existed at Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo. It just made sense on a lot of levels to make some changes."

Horse Blanket owner Keith Brostad, a committee member and rodeo supporter, said the date change would make the fairground's annual event "even better" than it already had been.

An added bonus, the date change would enable a second circuit, beyond the one including southern Oregon, which could send more cowboys than years past to ride in the Central Point event.

"Where we were at in October, the Pro Rodeo organization has districts or circuits that, because the timing is so close together, and California is within 100 miles of our border, us moving to May enables us to be part of this other circuit and get cowboys out of Columbia and California," said Brostad. "And we're going to be getting cowboys earlier in the season when they're fresher."

In addition to pre-rodeo-week events held in years past, Brostad is coordinating a Rodeo Queen competition to kick off in February for 18-24 year olds.

A local winner, Brostad said, could go on to compete in Miss Rodeo Oregon and perhaps Miss Rodeo America.

Pending final paperwork, Borovansky said this year's Pro Rodeo is set to take place May 29-31. For info on the rodeo, contact the fairgrounds, 774-8270. For info on the rodeo "queen" competition, contact Brostad at the Horse Blanket, 664-4644. You can also visit www.jcfairground.com and www.missrodeo.com online.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.