Cow milking, calf and sheep roping, bareback bronco (horse riding), and bull riding were just a few of the activities to which thousands of local and overseas patrons were treated at the 2018 Rupununi Ranchers’ Rodeo on Saturday at Lethem Town in Region Nine, Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo.The Easter weekend event, held under the theme “Young Ranchers-Into the Future”, saw cowboys and girls dressed as vaqueros entertaining the crowd with dances and bullwhip cracking.Scenes from the annual Rupununi Ranchers’ RodeoPresent were Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, along with the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin. Regional Chairman Brian Allicock and newly elected Mayor of Lethem, Kerry Jarvis, and members of the diplomatic corps were also in attendance.During his feature address at the opening ceremony, held at the Rupununi Ranchers’ Rodeo (RRR) ground, Minister Allicock spoke of the importance ofMinister of State, Joseph Harmon, sitting astride a horse; and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, holding the reins, share a light momentpromoting such an annual event — which brings together not only the people from across the regions, but also persons from across the world, such as the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Canada and neighbouring Brazil and Venezuela.Minister Allicock said it is no coincidence that the event is held during Easter, an important festival in the Christian calendar that speaks of faith, resurrection and the promise of eternal life.“It tells us that in order for us to succeed in life, we sometimes have to roll away the stone that locks us away. Once that is done, we can use this opportunity to rise up with new vigour and purpose with the full extent of our dreams, realise our goals, and attain self-actualization,” she advised.The minister also noted that planning is crucial to moving the region forward. “As we celebrate this Easter, and more particularly this rodeo, we must reflect on our achievements and shortcomings as a region, and also look to the future through new, far-reaching lenses… The President often reminds us that this region is bigger than Costa Rica…We need to have discussions, planning, and by knowing exactly what is needed to move the region forward.”Minister Allicock reminded of the huge potential the region possesses. He urged those gathered to utilise the resources without destroying the environment, to generate income, and create employment.“Lethem is also the gateway to South America; soon we will have a new international airport that will serve as a regional hub. We also have the trail that will be developed into a road. This will open opportunities for more industries… We, as a Government, must equip our young people with the necessary skills for these anticipated developments.” He said the Green Enterprise Development Centre at Bina Hill will assist in that regard.