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    Mutton Busting a hit at Country Fair

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    Holding on as tight as he could during the first annual mutton busting event during the 29 annual Chestermere Country Fair on Sept. 8. Photo by Emily Rogers

    A new activity to the 29th annual Chestermere Country Fair proved challenging for youth competitors and entertaining for parents and by-standers.
    For an hour during the Chestermere Country Fair youth ages four to seven were real-life cowboys and cowgirls during the first annual Mutton Busting competition.
    “We are an Agricultural based organization and we put on our first rodeo at the Calgary Stampede and we wanted to do something with the kids, so we chose mutton busting,” said President of the Chestermere Agricultural Society Ralph Marfels.
    With 20 participants, the Chestermere Agricultural Society was extremely pleased with how well the new event was received by the community, Marfels added, mutton busting will be an annual event at the Chestermere Country Fair.
    “We’re going to do it again next year and it’s going to be even more popular,” Marfels said.
    “I think it was fabulous, the kids looked like they had a blast, there was a big crowd watching, you couldn’t ask for anything else,” said the Vice President of the Chestermere Agricultural Society Andrea Fleming.
    “Next year will be the 30th annual country fair, and we’re looking forward to the biggest and the best fair we have ever put on next year,” Fleming added.
    During the Mutton Busting competition parents would laugh, and cheer while their child rode the best they could on the racing sheep ultimately being flown into the dirt.
    “Over all it was awesome,” said Rodeo Chair for the Chestermere Agricultural Society Dan Richard.
    “Graydon at Choice Voice really put us over the top for an awesome event. There was great sheep, and the kids were all so brave. It was amazing,” Richard said.
    He added, “They just sat down there like they’re rodeo stars. We saw these kids are the real deal. It’s not easy, everybody talks a big game but when you’re sitting down on a farm animal it’s different.”
    Richard added the Mutton Busting event will be returning next year, however there are certain things the team learnt this year that they will change to ensure the event runs more smoothly. Such as, arranging the chutes more efficiently so the sheep don’t escape.
    Since Mutton Busting is a part of Alberta’s western heritage it fits seamlessly into the Chestermere Country Fair, Richard said.
    He added, “We need to breed some future cowboys for events. I saw potential in all of them. They’re so brave to get down there.”

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