Back in the swing of things

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Isis Schapansky of Tisdale rounds the corner during the senior barrel racing portion of the Lakeland Ford High School Rodeo at the Red River Riding and Roping Arena in September 2020.

SHSRA circuit returns to action at RRRR Arena

Like many of the competitors that were at the Red River Riding and Roping Arena this weekend, it had been a long summer of waiting for Kalli-Rae Beebe of Islay, Alta.

“We haven’t been making as many outings this year compared to what we normally do as a result of the (COVID-19) pandemic,” Beebe said. “There have been a few little things but no big events.”

After months on the sideline, the Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association returned to action on Saturday and Sunday as the

The RRRA Arena played host to the Lakeland Ford High School Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.

“We definitely missed seeing everyone and it will be nice to get back into the swing of things over the next few weeks,” said Beebe, who took part in the barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping and goat tying events over the course of the two days.

“We were fortunate to have some smaller jackpot events during the summer, which gave us lots of time to prepare for the barrel racing before we came to these larger scale competition. However, there were no jackpot events for goat tying or breakaway roping, so that proved to be a little more challenging as we came off of the long break.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Kegan Kmita of Weyburn loses his hat during the senior bareback riding event at the Lakeland Ford High School Rodeo on Saturday.

Although this weekend’s events marked the start of the high school rodeo season in the province, the competition was close in the junior and senior events.

“A lot of people that I talked to were really impressed with what they saw during the weekend,” RRRR Arena barn director and event chair Larry Henry said. “As the month goes along here, I think you’ll see everyone’s timing get a little better as they get more familiar with their horses

“As a whole, I think the weekend went very well. We had some great times and great rides, and we also had an excellent crowd on Saturday. We’re going to make a few minor changes before next year’s event, but there’s not much major that needs to be fixed up after hosting this competition for the last two years, especially with all the great help we get.”

While the SHSRA circuit is preparing to head out for a two-day event in Whitewood this coming weekend, the RRRA Arena staff are now preparing for their annual general meetings, which will be held at the venue on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

“Normally, we would be preparing to have our haunted house for Halloween, but that doesn’t look like it will happen this year due to COVID-19,” Henry said.

“One of the big things that we are doing right now is a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with the purchase of a new skid-steer. That helps us to keep the animals fed during the winter months and to keep our roads clear.”