Bull riding back on in Logan County as COVID-19 crisis continues

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LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A controversial bull riders event is back on in Logan County.

The closed to the public, Professional Bull Riders (PBR) made for tv event was paused earlier this month. In a release on their website, officials say the event will now take place this weekend at the Lazy E Arena.

Many bucked the news when word spread of the event in late March.

“When I heard about this going on, I thought not in my town, not right now,” said Lisa Kroth, who’s immunocompromised after recently recovering from cancer.

Lisa and a number of neighbors called In Your Corner, concerned over an event which was set to bring in more than 100 people to Logan County.

“I called you guys, I called the governor’s office,” Lisa said. “I called as many people as i could think of to try to get it stopped.”

Sean Gleason, CEO for the PBR told In Your Corner they had a number of safety measures in place. These included keeping their crowd properly spaced out, in color coded groups.

They also had specially made masks, and other protective equipment available. They planned to rent out a hotel in Guthrie to help minimize their contact with the public.

“We did not want any of our people coming into contact with the people of Guthrie,’ explained Gleason. “For their safety and for ours.”

With news from President Trump forecasting 100-thousand plus COVID-19 deaths, the event was put on an indefinite pause days before it was scheduled to happen.

 But a release on the PBR’s website Friday says bull riding will be back this weekend.

We caught up with Gleason Monday morning to discuss PBR’s revised plan. They now plan to keep everyone contained at the ranch.

“We’ve since rented more RVs, and everybody will stay on the grounds of Lazy E, and not leave the grounds at any point,” Gleason explained. “We will be testing all our competitors and staff that are attending.”

Given the Lazy E’s rural location, they don’t fall under any city jurisdiction.

Logan County Board of Commissioners have taken a neutral stance on the matter.

Commissioner Marven Goodman tells News 4 he’s encouraged by the PBR’S safety plan.

Gleason tells News 4 the 100-plus contestants will not be allowed to stop within 60 mils of the Lazy E, and that they’ll be offering the opportunity to refuel their cars onsite.

“If anybody [breaks the rules], they’ll be fired if they’re an employee, they’ll never be hired again if they’re an independent contractor,” he said. “If they’re a bull rider or contestant, they’ll be banned from competition for life.”

A spokesperson with Governor Stitt’s office tells In Your Corner, the PBR turned in a copy of their safety plan.

The spokesperson says if the PBR believes they can proceed with their safety plan, and work within the governor’s order and CDC guidelines, their office won’t intervene.

As of Monday night, there are nine confirmed COVID-19 cases in Logan County.

Two more closed to the public PBR events are scheduled to take place next month at Lazy E.

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