Pledging continuous support for development of the rodeo and facilities associated with its staging, the Government of Guyana, represented by State Minister Joseph Harmon and Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, on Saturday handed over million to the Rupununi Rodeo Committee.And Harmon, addressing the opening of the Annual Rupununi Ranchers Easter Rodeo at Lethem, declared the event one of great significance, not only to theState Minister Joseph Harmon and Vice President Sydney Allicock presenting the cheque to Executive Member of the Rupununi Rodeo Committee, Rebecca Fariaresidents of that region, but to the country as a whole.Noting that the event is one which attracts hundreds from across the country, the continent of South America and further afield, Harmon said Government is committed to ensuring that the Rodeo Committee is supported in its expansion and improvement efforts.Announcing that Government would be working with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) and the Rodeo Committee to earmark more space to accommodate the event, Harmon declared: “This event has grown to international stature, with persons coming from Suriname and French Guiana to be a part of what is happening here. What we would like to assure you is that the administration of [President] Granger gives full support to the development of these activities.“I want to assure you that we are having discussions with a view to ensuring that more land is provided so that we can have a bigger venue and we can have international standards here at this rodeo. When we celebrate rodeo, we celebrate the life that is Guyana — the life of the Rupununi. The hinterland, of which the Rupununi is a part, is a part of our fabric, and we want to ensure that every portion of that fabric is well stitched and mended together,” Harmon said.Minister Allicock, in brief remarks, echoed similar sentiments as Minister Harmon’s. He noted that the event has now become a significant calendar activity and provides the ideal opportunity to showcase the talents of the vaqueros in theOne of the young cowgirls showing the audience her horse riding skills in the ring at the Rupununi Rodeoregion.“This is our life; this is us. We are the Rupununi. We are the riders, we are the performers, and I am so happy to see this here today. You can be assured that we are going to continue giving you our support as we seek to create the good life for all,” he assured.Lethem Mayor Carlton Beckles said the event has grown significantly over the years, and with added support from Government, is expected to achieve further growth. “I am proud that we are hosting Rodeo this year with Lethem being a township. Lethem is the home to Rodeo, and we will continue to be a part of this rodeo. This rodeo can only get better in the coming years,” he said. The event kicks off on the Saturday before Easter each year, and continues until Easter Monday, with daytime activities like wild bull riding, horse racing, wild cow milking, wild horse riding, a female barrel race and steer roping among other exhilarating events. In recent times, a Miss Rupununi Rodeo beauty pageant has been added, featuring beauties from the Region and from neighbouring Brazil.