The 103rd Benalto Pro Rodeo run by the Benalto Agriculture Society hosted another successful event over the Labour Day long weekend.
The four-day rodeo that ran from Sept. 3 to 6 was attended by participants from across the west.
President of Benalto Agriculture Society and Stampede, Neal Arksey said, “It was a record-breaking year for us. I think the people were really excited to come out and enjoy the rodeo and the stampede. It was a very good success.”
Rene LeClercq, a participant of the Ladies Barrel Racing, who has been partaking in the Benalto Rodeo for about eight years, shared her satisfaction being able to finally attend the rodeo event this year.
LeClercq said, “It’s been really good, it’s been a packed house, and it’s been great to see competitors and I’m happy to see fans, full stands – it’s great and it makes it exciting.” She added, “We’re honestly all happy that we get to go to these events, we’ve been waiting quite a while and for lots of us, it’s our living, it’s our life.
“This is what we love and this is what we do. So, it’s just great to be back for this great event.”
The rodeo is typically held in July.
However, given the COVID restrictions at the time, the event was postponed.
While the organizers were unable to offer a full slate of events this year, participants and spectators enjoyed a decent range of some of their favourite rodeo events.
“We got a great community out there where people have come out and helped us get ready for this event. Our committee is top notch.
“The people willing to come out and help us out with this event, they feel like a part of it. So, I think it enhances a small community like this, together, even more. It’s always been a great community for volunteers, sponsors, it’s been tremendous, and it just brings everybody together,” said Arksey.
A sponsor and spectator of the event, Ed Butcher shared that he has been attending this event ever since he was a little boy.
He said that the event was a great experience on a beautiful day with beautiful weather. “The event’s been awesome, amazing, one of the best small rodeos that I’ve ever attended. Very smooth, really good, really well rounded…great group of volunteers,” said Butcher. “I’m happy to be here,” he added.
The first place winner for Junior Steer Riding, Grady Young, from Regina, who has been partaking in the rodeo for over five years, said that the event ran smoothly.
He said, “Everyone else also performed pretty well. All my friends did really good.”
Satisfied with the success of this year’s event, Arksey said that the team has started discussions for next year’s rodeo. He said, “We are going to move it back to our original date in the first week in July. Next year it will be on the same start date as the Calgary Stampede, which we’ve always had. People are starting to talk about next year already.”
Arksey said that he looks forward to a revamped event next year.