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Lakeland College Hosts Little Royal Rodeo

Kamryn Gilliland, second-year Animal Science Technology: Beef Major student at Lakeland College in the pole bending event at the Little Royal Rodeo March 9–10. Photo Cross Gate Photography

Lakeland College’s Rodeo Club hosted its annual Little Royal Rodeo at the college’s equine centre on March 8–10.

First known as Little International when it began as a livestock show in 1927, the event took on its present name two years later when it expanded to include an agricultural and home economics display to showcase the students of the Vermilion School of Agriculture, which later became Lakeland College. For 40 years, the rodeo was a staple of the college calendar, but by the 1970s it had dwindled and entered a period of dormancy. In 1986, however, it experienced a comeback, with almost double the expected attendance of 1,500 people showing up.

This year, the weekend began with the 36th annual Western Canadian Judging Competition (WCJC) at the college on March 8, featuring both intercollegiate teams as well as the provincial 4-H judging competition. Over 140 contestants judged both livestock and crop classes, making this the biggest WCJC so far.

Lakeland’s Stockman’s Club hosted the Little Royal Steer and Heifer Show, which opened Saturday’s events with weigh-ins from 8 until 9 a.m. followed by another year’s successful show beginning at 10 a.m. The stands were already packed by mid-afternoon for the slack that started at 1 p.m. The rodeo performance began at 6:30 p.m., coinciding with the opening of the beer gardens. Performances featured bareback, pole bending, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc, goat tying, steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, and bull riding. A dance in the college gym following the performance provided an opportunity for attendees and contestants to mingle, shake off the day, and celebrate successes.

Slack began again at 8 a.m. on Sunday the 10th, with the rodeo performance beginning at 2 p.m.

Lakeland Rodeo Club member Holly Mulligan took the win in pole bending on day 1, while Avery Sardoff won the goat tying on Sunday. Overall the team did well in all their events.

Lakeland extends congratulations to all the contestants and gratitude to everyone who helped out.


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