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Anti-restrictions rodeo organizers going to trial

No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally attracted hundreds if not thousands of spectators in May of 2021
MVT No Lockdown rodeo bareback crowd
A cowboy competes in the bareback section of the No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally May 1, 2021 south of Bowden in Red Deer County, in front of packed stands. File photo/MVP Staff

RED DEER COUNTY — Trial dates have been set for a couple charged with violating the Public Health Act by holding a rodeo rally in defiance of Alberta COVID-19 restrictions. 

The trial for Ty and Gail Northcott is scheduled to be held Oct. 13 and 14 in Red Deer provincial court. 

The decision was made after a Jan. 25 Red Deer provincial court appearance. 

The Northcotts were charged with violating the Public Health Act after they held a rodeo May 1 and 2, 2021 on private property just south of Bowden, off Highway 2A. 

The event, billed as the No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally, attracted hundreds, if not thousands of rodeo fans, political sympathizers, and those rallying against restrictions.

The organizers did not obtain an exemption from Alberta Health Services in order to stage the event. Exemptions for outdoor rodeos at the time only allowed for up to 10 spectators, with two metres physical distance between households as well as other protocols for organizers and contestants.

The Northcotts had also planned to hold a similar event on June 5 and 6, 2021 against COVID-19 restrictions dubbed the "No More Jason Kenney Pro Rodeo Rally.”   

But on Facebook, they said it was postponed after the couple was served with a court injunction from Court of Queen’s Bench to prevent that event from going ahead.