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Cowboy Cowhorse Competition

Ranch Roping Competition. Photo Lorna Hamilton

Second-year Equine students hosted the Ranch Horse Rodeo/Cowboy Cowhorse Competition at Lakeland College from March 17 -19.

Equine Instructor, Ron Hoffman said, “It’s a combination of two or three events over the weekend. There is a two-day Canadian Ranch Roping Association Ranch Roping, and in addition on the first day we had several individual events, such as the Open Ranch Horse competition pattern and cow work, the Novice Cowhorse Rein and Box and Two-man Doctoring.”Hoffman explained.

He mentioned that during these competitions riders accumulate points depending on where they placed in each one of those events and the high point open rider for the day would win a buckle and a $1000 bonus which went to Kayo Toews, and the Novice rider for the day would win a buckle and $300 which went to Scott Lane a second-year Equine student.

Hoffman noted that the event was a great success with entries up by 50 per cent.

This is the first one we have had since COVID, so a lot of the Novice riders are second-year students, and we have riders from as far away as Moose Jaw to Drayton Valley so it is riders from across two provinces,” said Hoffman.

The second day of the competition was strictly Ranch Roping Hoffman explained, “Today’s event is where riders try to throw intricate loops instead of just the straightforward loop and catch something. They try to throw loops backhanded or throw turnovers, it’s like trick loops, the more intricate the loop is the more points they will get for the catch.”

One of the students, Sarah Folland, said that being in charge gave them a chance to learn how to put on a large-scale event such as who they need to contact and looking for sponsors, as well as a chance to participate or compete. For the colt starting team, this allowed them to showcase the geldings they will have for sale on March 25.

“By participating we get to showcase what we have learned all year. You can take all of these skills (sorting, doctoring, etc.) and carry them with us to future jobs, and it makes us better horsemen,” said Folland. “It gives us confidence; and a list of steps we need to do such as how early you need to start, how to build a budget, get a hold of stock contractors, and invite guests, etc.”

Personally, she wants to go on to work for other trainers in the future so she said taking skills from the arena will generally be more useful, but if they are putting on clinics she could take the planning skills she learned here and be useful.

She grew up around agriculture in the Okanagan, British Columbia, and has been riding since she was 8 years old. She has enjoyed her experience here at Lakeland College and said,

“I competed in the Novice Reign and Box category; I like the flat work (working the reigns, pattern, or working a cow). These are prospective employers that were here competing, and getting to meet new people and getting to be involved making industry connections is huge.”

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