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Roping and riding at High School Rodeo


Last weekend (May 13-14), the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association hosted the Swan River leg of their tour, featuring a number of talented cowboys and cowgirls from across the province, and even into Saskatchewan and North Dakota.

Despite the cool, windy and rainy weather, the participants were able to get in some good rides and post excellent scores.

“In total, we had 64 entrants between the Junior and Senior High School, plus about 20-25 Little Buckaroos,” said Crystal Nepinak.

While spectators were down this year, likely due to the weather, the contestant attendance was high, and the weekend included many highlights, including a modified baseball game on Saturday evening, and a second place finish by Jenna McKay in the High School (HS) Pole Bending event.

As always, a number of volunteer groups and organizations stepped up to help pull the event together.

“Some of the NorthWest Round-up and Exhibition rodeo committee, along with rodeo parents sorted the livestock and worked in the pens and chutes,” said Nepinak.

“We also had help from RBC staff, the Birch River 4-H Horse Club and Roping Club.

“We were honoured to have Kevin Penner and Lorri-Ann Munro help in the visual department,” continued Nepinak.

Once the weekend wrapped up, Nepinak noted that the hometowners did a great job.

“Although there were nerves, it was nice to see the determination of the hometowners, some of whom were returning for the second and third year,” she said.

“Our local rough stock riders got closer to the eight-second buzzer than they did last year, and in the timed events, there were a few clean runs that ended up in the top 10. The combination of nerves, with the weather, gave the riders some trouble, but they just didn’t give up.”

Looking ahead to the finals in June, Nepinak said more volunteers are definitely welcome.

“We will need people to help with parking, clean up throughout the weekend, as well as when the event is over,” she said.

If you are interested in helping out at the June 9-11 event, contact Della McKay at 204·734·8512, or Nepinak at 204·281·1554.

“We cannot express enough gratitude to our sponsors for their support,” said Nepinak. “The compliments we get regarding their support is unbelievable.

“Every member, win or lose, gets a prize, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, and those who try their best but don’t place in the top 10 to accumulate points really appreciate the recognition for their efforts.

“Seeing the smiles, even after being bucked off, was so worth the work to host this event,” Nepinak concluded. “For those die-hard fans wrapped up in blankets who came out to encourage these students, hats off to you.”

local participants

Participants are listed name, hometown: events.

Zackery Machan, Whitefish Lake: HS Bareback Riding, HS Bull Riding

Jenna McKay, Swan River: HS Barrel Racing, HS Breakaway Roping, HS Goat Tying, HS Pole Bending, HS Team Roping

Madison Rausch, Swan River: HS Barrel Racing

Abby Black, Minitonas: HS Barrel Racing

Keir Fedorchuk, Aaron, Sask.: HS Saddle Bronc Riding

Kaleigh Currie, Bowsman: Junior High (JH) Barrel Racing, JH Pole Bending

Ellie Oakes, Swan River: JH Barrel Racing, JH Pole Bending

Mackenzie Currie, Bowsman: JH Barrel Racing, JH Pole Bending

Kaylee Keefe, Kenville: JH Barrel Racing, JH Pole Bending

Henry Branconnier, Swan River: JH Bull Riding, JH Chute Dogging

Jack Mullin, Swan River: JH Bull Riding, JH Chute Dogging

Corbin Legebokoff, Durban: JH Bull Riding, JH Chute Dogging

Jessica Bergen