© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
A horse jumps high in the air to get rid of some excess weight on top of him during a bareback ride on Sunday afternoon at the Red River Riding and Roping KRCA Rodeo. The horse got his wish a moment later.
It was a busy -- and soggy -- three days for the Red River Riding and Roping KCRA Rodeo over the weekend.
Rain had an impact on the event, although the sandy base in the rodeo ring was able to handle the water.
“The weather didn’t help us but the crowds are better than I though they would be,” Rodeo chairperson LeeAnn Mette said on Sunday afternoon.
Mette hopes the rodeo will make money as the club continues to rebound from the loss of their old arena when the roof caved in 16 months ago.
“Every year we keep getting a little bigger and a little bigger,” she says, noting that they had about 250 entries for events that included bareback, tie down roping, saddle bronc, junior and ladies breakaway, men’s and junior steer wrestling, team, junior and peewee team roping, junior and pee wee steer riding, ladies, junior and peewee barrel racing and bull riding.
Some events on the weekend began at 8 a.m. with most of the action taking place between 1-5 p.m.
The mandate of the KCRA (Kakekow Cowboys Rodeo Association) is to bring First Nation and non-native cowboys together. All but a handul of the cowboys were from Saskatchewan, with several First Nations competitors taking part.
Mette says it’s nice to see them working together.
“The camaraderie between contestants is pretty touching,” she says. “I watched my boy competing and I watched the boys behind the chute and they all helped each other out. It might be the one they’re competing against in the saddle bronc but they’re also their greatest fan to hope they do as well as they do.”
She says that while rodeo was once huge in the area and served as a significant fundraiser for them, it died off for a while. The sport’s rebirth was in part reflected by the number of local competitors, not just in the horse events but also in the rough stock competitions that include steer, bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding.
“I think we’re getting back into a cycle where it’s larger,” she says, adding that they may put a rough stock school on at the facility.
Several dozen volunteers helped stage the event, which was soggy prior to the weekend but was hit by rain both days. On Saturday, the rain came with about half a dozen bullriders left to compete; on Sunday it about 10 minutes before they started.