Registration is now open for Strathmore’s fifth annual rodeo school, which aims to both introduce kids to new sports and develop the skills of active young athletes. 

The school, operated by the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society, began accepting registrations April 7, for the school, scheduled to take place Aug. 14-17. 

“It is going to look pretty similar to last year. We have all the same clinics available – bareback, saddle bronc, barrel racing, bull riding, bull fighting and grey roping,” said Kate Dubois, Strathmore Stampede events coordinator. 

The bareback, saddle bronc, and barrel racing clinics will be hosted on the first two days, while the remaining clinics will take place during the latter half of the rodeo school. 

Dubois added registration is often competitive for the limited spots available to youth who are interested.

“We can only accept a certain amount of people per clinic just to allow for the coaches to better develop those athletes in that clinic,” she said. “We definitely recommend registering as early as possible.”

Within the first week of registrations opening, more than a dozen athletes had already signed up for the school, either to return, having attended in a previous year, or to try it out for the first time. 

According to Dubious, the camp is a highly anticipated event every year, now that the Ag Society is able to regularly host it, following the reduction of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. 

“We are hoping to continue growing and getting more kids involved, both for the rodeo and high school rodeo scenes, and those who have never done rodeo and are looking into starting up,” she said. “This is always a great event that we have (and) get asked about all throughout the year … we have had kids come back two, three years in a row to continue learning and developing from these coaches. It is always great to see their progression and growth.”

The clinics are open to anyone who is interested in coming out, regardless of gender or previous knowledge and experience around rodeo sports. 

Due to safety concerns for both the athletes and the animals, some age restrictions will apply. Bareback and saddle bronc are restricted to athletes 16 to 21 years of age, while barrel racing and grey roping have a minimum registration age of 12 years. 

Bull riding has also been set for athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age. Bull fighting is the sole clinic operating without age restriction. 

“We are an inclusive environment and the clinics are open to anyone who is willing to learn. We have had female students register in bull riding clinics, and we have had male students do barrel racing,” said Dubois. 

More information as well as registration forms can be found through the Strathmore Stampede website. Clinics will be operating from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the ag society grounds during the rodeo school for those who are registered.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 20, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta
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