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Young Cowboys and Cowgirls Converge at Swan Valley High School Rodeo


Cowboys and cowgirls from all over Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota showed up to participate in the Swan Valley High School Rodeo (SVHSR) last weekend (May 10-12), held at the Swan River Valley Agricultural Society Grounds.
An overall warm and sunny weekend meant that a few more audience members than normal came out to watch the 24 Juniors, the 34 Seniors and the 28 Little Buckaroos as they challenged themselves in the dusty ring, whether it be on horseback, chasing calves, wrestling calves, tying up goats or throwing lassoes.
“In the past, Mother Nature hasn’t been very kind to us,” said SVHSR Coordinator/Treasurer Crystal Nepinak. “However, the sponsors are more than generous. That generosity allows us to offer free admission to everyone.”
Nepinak added that the highlight of the weekend for her was seeing children having fun, making new friends and enjoying the sport of rodeo.
“They compete hard all day and then you see them practicing their roping skills in their downtime while visiting with friends,” she said. “One mother in the stands said she’d definitely choose buying a roping dummy over iPads.
“And, it was nice to see the local gals share their love of horses with the younger children, offering horseback rides to make their day.”
Some familiar faces and some new ones filled out the local representation during the events, including:
• Dax Mullin from Swan River – chute dogging;
• Jenna McKay from Swan River ­– barrel racing, goat tying, team roping, and breakaway roping;
• Sierra Urban from Swan River – goat tying, barrel racing and pole bending;
• Kaleigh Currie from Bowsman – barrel racing and pole bending;
• Mckenzie Currie from Bowsman – barrel racing and pole bending;
• Natasha Chartrand from Renwer – barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying; and
• Jillian Hrycyk from Lenswood – barrel racing.
“Dax Mullin got his Sunday morning workout wrestling steers with the help of some rodeo dads who offered to help children develop their skills,” said Nepinak. “Natasha Chartrand tried the ‘hometown’ route for her first rodeo and has big plans for her and her grandpa Gary Clapham for future rodeos. She attended the goat tying clinic with Jacey Boyes and learned a lot.
“It was great to see Sierra Urban settle into the rodeo family, and Jenna McKay was happy with clean barrel runs on (her horse) Wheels.
“I think everyone had fun,” Nepinak continued. “It’s nice to see more locals have become members of the High School Rodeo Association since we started hosting in 2015.”
Unlike Alberta and British Columbia, Manitoba isn’t divided into regions due to the lower number of members in the province. This means that everyone is eligible to participate in the Finals rodeos, provided they participate in the minimum number of required rodeos per season.
“Students placing in the top 10 placings at any of the regular rodeos earn points,” said Nepinak. “The top 10 point earners in each event at the end of the season are eligible to go to Canadians. The top four are eligible to go to the Nations in the USA.”
The participants that got to take home some special award buckles were as follows:
• McKay Tractors and Metals’s Most Sportsmanlike Junior Cowboy – Coy Gervin;
• McKay Real Estate and Auction Co.’s Most Sportsmanlike Junior Cowgirl – Kirby Gray;
• Mountainside Unloading Ltd.’s Most Sportsmanlike Senior Cowboy – Robby Stewart;
• Rick Bresky Trucking’s Most Sportsmanlike Senior Cowgirl – Kally Bodin;
• Rough Country Kubota’s All Around Cowgirl – Jacy Boyes; and
• Thompson Ventures Ltd.’s Pick Up Man Choice – Drydan Griffith.
Full results from the weekend and current standings will be available on the MHSRA website – mhrsa.ca – in the near future.

Jeremy Bergen