Shannon Claypool has rodeo in his blood. President of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, he’s one of the key components to (arguably) one of the largest, most popular Rodeos in Western Canada. With many of the world’s top cowboys competing, it’s no surprise that this iconic event boast sell-out numbers year after year. We caught up with Shannon and asked him a (‘scuse the pun) ‘range’ of questions…
Tourism Surrey: How long have you been a part of the Surrey Community?
Shannon Claypool: I’ve lived in Surrey for a combined total of 45 years.
TS: What do you love about being a part of Surrey?
SC: I’ve loved watching Surrey grow from a small farming community to the second largest city in BC while still promoting the very important history of Cloverdale and other town centres in the city.
TS: What’s the most valuable thing that you provide Surrey?
SC: Our organization provides a direct link to the city’s past by putting on one of the biggest community events each May long weekend – the Cloverdale Rodeo. It attracts people from far and wide to come to our city and take part in this very important historical event.
TS: What’s the most valuable thing that Surrey provides you?
SC: The City of Surrey supports our organization and our event financially. They allow us the means to continue to showcase the history of our community and to allow residents and visitors to experience this wonderful event.
TS: Why is Surrey still home base after all these years?
SC: Our organization was founded here over 125 years ago. We’ve always been in Surrey.
TS: How does Surrey inspire you?
SC: Although I’ve lived in other parts of the lower mainland for short periods of time, I have always come home to Surrey. I have 3 children that were all born here. In the past, I have owned a Surrey-based business and I currently work for a Surrey company. Surrey has developed into a very dynamic city that I feel leads many other Canadian cities as far as positive growth and development while still remaining connected to its history and heritage.
TS: What’s changed about Surrey in the last 10 years?
SC: During the last decade, the strong leadership of Mayor Watts and counsel have moved this city to the highest levels of high tech development along with positive redevelopment of the Whalley area, creating a much needed downtown core.
TS: Tell us something about you that not many people know.
SC: I have a very personal deep connection to the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition. My cousin Brian Claypool (Canadian Bull riding champion 1975, 1976) rode at the Cloverdale rodeo many times and in fact, rode his last bull at Cloverdale at the 1979 event. Brian and 3 other cowboys departed from the Langley Airport on the Monday of the May long weekend and all of them died when Brian’s plane crashed at 7:21 pm that day.
TS: What do you picture Surrey looking like in the next ten years?
SC: I believe that in the next 10 years, Surrey will continue to move in the direction of becoming a world-class city approaching Vancouver in size.
TS: Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
SC: I have been involved with Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association for over 17 years and I am very proud of the many volunteers who have been a part of this wonderful and exciting event.
*The Cloverdale Rodeo is held annually at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Friday to Monday on the Victoria Day long weekend.