The St. Paul Agricultural Society successfully kicked off the spring High School Rodeo Season last weekend, hosting the Junior and High School Rodeo at the St. Paul Corral for the 23rd year.
This rodeo, one of the first ones of the spring season, saw over 200 students from grades 6 to 12 participate in the annual event April 16 - 18.
Like so many typical events and sport seasons, rodeos in Alberta have had to make some changes as to how they operate. After receiving an exemption from Alberta Health Services (AHS) on April 10, the rodeo followed some very strict guidelines to allow competitors and their coaches to safely participate inside the arena. On April 14, AHS released a seven page guideline reference for rodeo organizers to follow to ensure health regulations around COVID are the same throughout the province. These guidelines were created by the hard work of the High School Rodeo Associations in conjunction with AHS.
Brian Pederson, the Rodeo Committee Chair for the St. Paul Agricultural Society commented that the Rodeo ran very smoothly, and the Ag Society actually didn’t have to change too much on how a rodeo would normally operate to accommodate the health guidelines. The creation of a flowchart showing movement through the Corral and how the rodeo would operate helped contestants and their coaches navigate safely through their events. Social distancing, masks, and empty spectator stands were all part of the safety process this year.
Pederson stated that he was very pleased with the contestants and their willingness to follow guidelines, “Contestants were very respectful and very mindful of what they needed to do to be able to compete.”
The AG society was able to give students the chance to get competition experience, which is the central role of High School Rodeos. At the high school level, 296 entries were submitted with over 130 students competing, and 75 Jr. high students competed in 241 entries.
Rough stock. Photos sumitted