By Mallorie Rast, Kindersley Social, June 15, 2017
“Our Heavenly Father, we pause at this time, mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. We ask, Lord that you will be with us in the arena of life.
We as cowboys do not ask for special favours.
We don’t ask to draw around the chute fighting horse, the steer that won’t lay, or to never break the barrier.
We don’t even ask for all daylight runs.
We do ask, Lord, that you will help us live our lives here on earth as cowboys, in such a manner, that we make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep, that you’ll take us by the hand and say—
‘Welcome to Heaven, cowboy, your entry fees are paid.’”
With heads bowed and hats off, a respectful silence filled the arena as the announcer started last weekend’s rodeo with the above “Cowboy’s Prayer.”
Featuring skills from Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, and even the United States, Kindersley’s 26th annual rodeo went down in the books as another great success. Record-breaking entries and events such as the Kids On Foot Rodeo and wild cow milking filled the weekend of June 1-3 with thrilling memories.
“The rodeo went very well,” noted Tyler Ritchie, Committee President of the Kindersley Indoor Rodeo. “With over 400 entries, Kindersley broke its record with the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA).”
Kindersley is one of the highest, if not the highest, paying rodeo in the CCA’s circuit; which may partly explain the high number of contestants this year. The rewards seem to resonate with contestants as even last place brings its reward. Kindersley manages this high cash flow by pooling the amazing support of the community and committee with the entry fees.
The cash prizes aren’t the only drawing card for the Kindersley Rodeo. Ritchie explained that several cowboys/girls will call him and state that Kindersley is their favourite stop in the circuit. “Which is saying something, as indoor rodeos are often very challenging; what with the music, the enthusiastic crowds, and the video screen, it’s tough for the contestants to concentrate. But many seem to enjoy this added challenge, so in the end, everyone is happy.”
In keeping with its focus in previous years, the rodeo weekend strove to honor both individuals and the community as a whole. Opening night gave the opportunity to recognize a Kindersley resident. Ritchie, on behalf of the CCA, presented Bill Delday with a CCA Gold Card, in honor of Delday’s contribution in building CCA and the sport of Rodeo in Canada.
Chock full of full of rodeo and community events, the weekend had something for everyone. BBQ cookouts, pancake breakfasts, and the dress and decorating competition, all primed the pump of community enthusiasm for the evening performances.
In order to pull off such a busy weekend, several members of the community and the committee worked together to make every event go smoothly. “There are so many ‘moving parts’ in an event like this,” noted Ritchie, “but everyone pitched in and did an amazing job. From the servers in the Beer Gardens, the ticket ladies by the front door, to the volunteer who is still sweeping out the last bit of dirt from the arena; I want to thank them for their cheerful dedication.”
Ritchie stated that the enthusiastic response from the community makes it all worthwhile. “We hope that everyone loves the events and keep coming back to them, so when the cheering crowds fill the stands night after night, it definitely encourages the cowboys and girls, the committee and the volunteers to keep doing what they love.”
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