A nasty rift between Santa Fe’s two major rodeo groups appears to be repaired.
Rodeo de Santa Fe is the nonprofit that’s been in charge of the events that have occurred on the rodeo grounds on Santa Fe’s Southside since 1949. Rodeo Property Inc. grew out of Rodeo de Santa Fe in 2004 as a businesses entity to lease the rodeo grounds. Both had been at serious odds over the past year.
“Rodeo Property’s sole lawful purpose is to hold title to the Rodeo Grounds, for the benefit of Rodeo de Santa Fe,” reads a January letter from the five Rodeo de Santa Fe board members.
But throughout 2013, Rodeo de Santa Fe accused its counterpart of straying from the mission. The dispute revolved around a $100,000 contract with the city to kick-start plans for a $30 million indoor arena.
Rodeo de Santa Fe accused Rodeo Property of withholding funds and drastically changing the arena proposal. In February, Rodeo Property filed a lawsuit against Rodeo de Santa Fe claiming that the organization wasn’t keeping good accounts and had failed to share details about its expenses and revenue.
Rodeo de Santa Fe asked the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that Rodeo Property didn’t have the legal standing to sue, a perspective shared by District Judge Sarah Singleton, who ruled in favor of that motion on May 22. Rodeo Property’s board president, David Copher, has also since resigned.
“At this point in time the relationship between the two boards is solved,” says Jim Butler, board president of Rodeo de Santa Fe. Asked when the arena might pop up, Bulter says he can’t give an answer. The 65th Annual Rodeo de Santa Fe is June 18-21.