Good weather draws thousands to rodeo

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The stands were filled with people dressed in their best western wear and cowboy hats at the 15th annual Rawhide Rodeo that took place this past weekend at the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society Grounds.


Complete with a pancake breakfast, approximately 2,500 people attended the three-day event to see the second largest amateur rodeo in Alberta which included classic rodeo events such as bareback riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and of course, bull riding.


There were more than 500 entries from all over Alberta.


“Everybody’s enjoying the weather and it makes a big difference,” said Diane Rasmuson of the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society.


Last year’s rodeo saw less spectators as the weather was not cooperating.


Arlene Grapentine, secretary for the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society, said, “Last year, we had a little bit of problem with the weather so there was only maybe five or six vendors that stayed.”


This year, there were 10 vendors and more spectators as the weather stayed calm and sunny for the whole three days.


“The thing that holds us back is if the weather is poor,” Grapentine said. “But I think it’s really good (this year).”


Motocross Barrel Racing was back again this year after its introduction to the rodeo last year.


Motocross racers Jeremy Killen, Gabrial Ibrahim, Jesse Hutchings and Nicholas Barkman competed against each other to see who could round three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern in the fastest time.


Grapentine said, “I think most people like it. It’s something different.”


Other popular events included Wild Cow Milking, Miniature Chuck Wagon Racing, Wild Pony Racing and Mutton Busting.


“It’s just good family entertainment,” said Russ LaRocque, who has been going to rodeos for more than 20 years but was a first-time goer to the Wetaskiwin Rawhide Rodeo. “You can kick back and relax. It’s a nice way to spend the afternoon.”


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