Stampede’s 4-H Rodeo
CALGARY – Encouragement and education remain the cornerstones of the Stampede’s Invitational 4-H Rodeo, sponsored by Westcan Bulk Transport and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack, which will hold its 13th annual edition under the Big Top on Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19. In all, 104 youngsters, ranging in age from 9 to 20 and representing 30 4-H clubs across Alberta, are registered to participate.
In recent years, education has become a key element of the Stampede’s 4-H Rodeo. Afternoons are earmarked for competition under the Big Top, with timed events (barrel racing, thread the needle, and pole bending) on Saturday and rough stock events (breakaway roping, cow riding, and goat tying) on Sunday, but mornings are devoted to clinics and seminars conducted by undisputed rodeo experts.
On Saturday morning, Suzanne DePaoli, a professional barrel racer who’s competed at the Calgary Stampede and the Canadian Finals Rodeo, will discuss horsemanship, Lindsay Miller will hold a seminar in goat tying, Dr. Ted Shacklady will conduct a biosecurity clinic, Dessa Hockley will discuss horse personalities, and Calgary’s Mark Barrett, who operates Strong Cowboy Strength and Conditioning, will give a detailed talk on sports medicine.
Sunday morning, former Canadian rodeo star Dave Shields, who’s won the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame’s Legendary Achievement Award, will lead a cow riding clinic, while calf roper and team roper Shawn Miller will lead a discussion on the finer points of calf roping and Miller will again teach the intricacies of goat tying.
“We’d love to see these 4-H members get their start in rodeo right here at Stampede Park, and come back one day as Stampede Rodeo stars,” says Stampede agriculture program co-ordinator Sharon Yeast, who notes many competitors use the Invitational 4-H Rodeo as a stepping stone to the Wrangler (junior high), high school, and college rodeo circuits. “And the people we bring in to conduct our morning clinics are the best in the business — extremely skilled in their craft.”
Barrett will lead a particularly important discussion on sports medicine, which includes topics such as strength, conditioning, flexibility, and nutrition.
Afternoon competition gets underway under the Big Top on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.