Participation and attendance numbers remained high this year at Benalto Junior Rodeo, said Rhonda Vick, an event organizer. New events included mutton busting and mini chuckwagon races, in which both the riders and the “horses” were junior competitors.
A three-person demonstration of Prince Philip Games (PPG) was another addition. Medicine River Pony Club member Tayler Vick made the Canadian Prince Philip Games team and competed in Australia in April.
Prince Philip Games, also known as Mounted Games, are a series of very fast races played on ponies. They were created when H.R.H. Prince Philip wanted a competition for children who could not afford an expensive, well-bred pony.
Hayden Cole, 12, competes in breakaway roping, wild pony racing, goat tail tying, and pole bending. He has been riding since he was five or six years old, and began competing in rodeo events when he was nine. He likes the excitement of the events, especially pole bending. He said he sometimes feels nervous during breakaway roping.
“I’m always nervous when I go out of the box because Bandit (my horse) is going so fast,” he said.
His mother, Clare, does not compete in rodeo events. However, she said she is excited for her son when she watches him.
None of the winners from the junior rodeo events this year had won in previous years.
There were 72 entries in the junior rodeo. This year’s champions were:
Goat tail tying 8 and under, dismounted: First – Sarah Belton; second – Elaura Fraser.
Goat tail tying 8 and under, mounted: First – Kyla Kelly; second – Cooper Henderson.
Goat tail tying 9-12: First – Hayden Cole; second – Dominique Borduas.
Goat tail tying 13-16: No entries.
Wild pony race: First – Richard Edmondson, Chantel Borduas and Dominique Borduas; second – Hayden Cole and Jimmy Joe.
Goat tying 9-12: First – Justin Fedun; second – Cache McLerie.
Goat tying 13-16: First – Jillian Kate McLerie; second – Rebecca Fedun.
Mutton busting: First – Sloan Lee; second – Bobbi Henderson.
Pole bending 8 and under: First – Kyla Kelly; second – Emilee North.
Pole bending 9-12: First – Codi Wilson; second – Richard Edmondson.
Pole bending 13-16: First – Sydney Lawson; second – Karlijn Janssen.
Breakaway roping: No catch, no placing.
Barrel racing 8 and under: First – Kyla Kelly; second – Bobbi Henderson.
Barrel racing 9-12: First – Codi Wilson; second – Shanay Wilson.
Barrel Racing 13-16: First – Sydney Lawson; second – Karlijn Janssen.