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Roof collapses at rodeo grounds


Under heavy snow, the roof over the grandstands at the Ridge Riders Rodeo Grounds collapsed sometime Sunday night. - Scott Hunter photo

The overhead covering that has shaded rodeo fans for decades collapsed sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, presumably a victim of a heavy snow load and its age.

Much of it is lying in a heap on the seating area it used to cover, or hanging tenuously just above it, and will until the snow melts.

"I figured it would be there forever, but I was wrong," said George Kohout, president of the Ridge Riders Saddle Club, which owns the rodeo grounds.

It was built in the late 1950s or early '60s, Kohout believes, and the club had already been looking for grants to make improvements or replace the structure.

Still unkown is whether the collapse damaged the grandstands themselves.

The Ridge Riders had already planned to replace some of the wooden seating benches next spring, Kohout said Tuesday, but now he's worried about the basic structure. He said they won't know more until it can be inspected without the snow covering.

Financing any repair work may be a challenge.

"It doesn't sound like our insurance covers the grandstands," Kohout said.

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