Around a dozen Chestermere and area teenagers will be getting a taste of the professional rodeo life this weekend.
The Rocky View Calgary High School Rodeo goes April 20-22 at the Nutrien Western Event Centre at the Stampede, with around 300 competitors expected from all over the province.
Along with the six main events, there will be breakaway, pole bending, ribbon roping, goat tying and chute dogging.
This event will count towards the standings for district one and two competitors (southern and central Alberta) as they build towards the provincial finals in early June.
“What this rodeo is all about is getting the kids down competing at some world-class venues that the Stampede has to offer,” said Dan Richard, who is the high school rodeo co-ordinator from the Chestermere Agricultural Society.
One of the big highlights of event will of course be the bull riding, which is on full-size stock despite the relatively young age of the competitors.
“When you see the bulls coming into the chutes, you wonder if the high school kids are going to get on those,” Richard said.
“This is what they do. These kids have been involved for rodeo for years. Speaking just from bull-riding, these kids have all started on steers and worked their way up through the amateur circuit. From high school rodeo they go to college rodeo, and from there the sky is the limit.”
There are a few Chestermere athletes doing well in the standings as well.
Jewel Brister tops the point standings in the barrel racing, and she should be a top contender for provincial and national titles in that event. She also competes in poles and roping.
This event should be a good stepping stone for the young competitors, even if they don’t have aspirations of turning pro.
“It’s like any sport as the chances of being a professional aren’t the greatest,” Richard said. “But it’s like any hockey player who would jump at the chance to play a game at the Saddledome, it’s the same thing for the rodeo kids when they get a chance to do their thing at the Stampede.”