Local youths will put their best boot forward this weekend as they participate in various events, including the kids rodeo, mutton bustin’, wild ponies and more.
“They’re our future rodeo stars,” says Marie Everts, a member of the rodeo organizing committee.
“Having youth involved in the rodeo weekend is always an important aspect of the events in order to grow these future rodeo champions, stars, volunteers, participants and all of the other people that make the rodeo a success.”
The opportunities for the future rodeo stars begin Friday at 10 a.m. with the Kids Fun Rodeo, a free event for participants and spectators alike.
The Kids Rodeo features a wide range of events, including keyhole races, barrel racing, pole bending, flag races, a boot race and, a favourite among spectators, the toilet paper race.
Anyone 18 and under is welcome to participate. Those interested must register in person at the rodeo grounds between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on the event day. A parent or guardian must be present to sign a waiver.
The fun doesn’t stop there for kids, as local youths will compete in mutton bustin’ at noon on Sunday. Children aged three to six will be put to the test as they attempt to ride sheep in the rodeo arena.
Despite increasing the number of available sheep for this year’s rodeo by 10 compared to last year, all 30 sheep have a rider ready for the event.
Participants in the mutton bustin’ event must have a properly fitted helmet and be at the arena by 11:45 a.m. on Sunday.
Wild ponies will return once more as the followup to the bull riders on Saturday and Sunday.
Following the event’s successful debut during last year’s rodeo, children aged nine to 14 will compete in teams of three to see who can mount and stay on a bucking pony the longest.
One team member acts as the anchor, holding the pony and trying to slow it down, another attempts to put their arms around the pony’s neck to hold it still, and the third is the rider.
This year’s teams feature:
—Kash Lievers, Ridge Flundra and Lachlan Stauffer
—River Koster, Nash Lund and Acey Adair
—Stran Lievers, Cooper Plain Eagle and Jaydon Vold
—Jack Emerson, Casey Emerson, and Hayden Stav
—Angelina Morris, Morgan McNabb and Natalie Donahue
—Grady Dwyer, Rudy Barrios and Sierra Chartier
Teams will be ranked based on their average times scored on Saturday and Sunday, with prizes handed out to the team with the best average.
The calf scramble is also back thanks to the Pincher Creek Legion’s donation of four bikes for the event. The scrambles will occur during intermission, following the trick riders’ performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Kids aged seven to nine and 10 to 12 can chase after a calf with a ribbon tied around its tail, with the goal being to get the ribbon and bring it back to the announcer. The fastest youngster in each age group wins the race and a bike.
Preregistration is not required and children can head down to the calf scramble once it is announced at intermission.
Lastly, there will be a sandpit, loads of kids games and much more. There’s something for children of all ages at this year’s rodeo!