File photo

File photo

Rimbey to serve as rodeo ground for middle school riders

Over 100 participants from across the province will be in attendance

The Rimbey Agricultural Society will host over 100 students across the province for the end-of-season junior rodeo provincial finals from May 27 to 29.

Students between Grades 5 and 8 will participate in the event put up by the Alberta High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA).

“They’ve all worked really hard to get there … some of them go on to be professional rodeo performers as adults,” said AHSRA board chair Patricia McKean.

AHSRA branches into three districts. After competing with one another for the entire season, the top 10 players from each district come together for the final provincial championship.

The top four players at the junior rodeo provincials will be off to Georgia for the international finals at the end of June. Top five provincial players will compete for the nationals title in Saskatchewan this August.

The rodeo season kicks off during the last week of August, and after a pause during winter, it concludes with a provincial finals at the end of May.

Coaching clinics for beginners are also available.

“This year went really good. Everyone was happy to be able to just rodeo normal.”

During the past two years of COVID-19, AHSRA was able to host the provincial finals with minimal spectators, masking and other requirements.

Several communities across the province, including Stettler, Taber, DeBolt and Teepee Creek have hosted the rodeo finals in past years.

AHSRA boasts over 650 members as it celebrates 50 years of establishment.

“It was intimidating at first, but now everything is coming together. We are very excited to host the event at our facility,” said Rimbey Agricultural Society president Jill Moore.

Moore looks forward to welcoming event participants and attendees with a banquet, food trucks and a trade show during the three-day event.

To familiarize youngsters with the rodeo culture, AHSRA offers video demonstrations and other informational materials for school students.

The high school rodeo finals for the seniors category will take place in Olds from June 3 to 5.