Small Pony – Big Attitude - This determined team taking part in the Wild Pony Rides did their best. But the pony was not prepared to cooperate.

For someone who loves rodeo, simply being in the stands to watch the action can be exciting.
But those who would rather be inside the arena – may find that they have few opportunities to take part in a rodeo.
Jaime Balon (Organizer) says that the Round-Up Rodeo was created in order to offer entire families a chance to take part in a sport that they love.
“The Round-Up Rodeo began in 2016.
“At that time, there weren’t really very many options around for people who wanted to start out in rodeo, but didn’t feel ready to take part in a CCA event.
“We started this with the idea that it would be a rodeo that anyone would be able to take part in, including kids who were too young for High School Rodeo, as well as their moms and dads and grandparents.
“That’s why we called it the ‘Round-Up Rodeo’.”
Last Sunday (June 12), the Round-Up Rodeo returned to the Rodeo Grounds in Kennedy after a two-year interruption brought on by the pandemic.
However, Balon points out that last weekend’s event proves that the rodeo’s popularity has not waned.
“When we announced that we were going to go ahead with the rodeo this year, it seemed that people were ready to come and be part of it!
“There were over 100 contestants that took part in the rodeo on Sunday (some of whom were entered in multiple events).
“Most of the people that came were within that 1-2 hour radius of Kennedy. But there were people who came from Bengough, Lake Alma, Pilot Butte/Balgonie and Manitoba as well.”
She adds that sponsors were also eager to be part of the Round-Up Rodeo action.
“I didn’t have to send any letters or make any phone calls to find sponsors.
“As soon as it was announced that this year’s rodeo was a ‘go,’ there were people contacting me to ask if sponsorship opportunities were available.
“We ended up with over 20 sponsors for this one-day rodeo. Frankly, I was overwhelmed and very grateful for the sponsors that came on board!”
Balon notes that this support helped to ensure that the Round-Up Rodeo was an affordable option for families.
“Families that go to take part in a rodeo can sometimes find they’re paying hundreds of dollars in fees. When you factor in the price of events, the cost for a family to take part in some events can just skyrocket.
“That’s why it was important for us to try to keep the cost for families to take part in this as low as possible.
“The wonderful sponsorship that we received allowed us to do that.
“For example, the Sheep Riding was free for kids to take part in. There was a $5 fee for Goat Undecorating (which covered the cost for the stock). The little ones that took part also each received free shirts that had been donated by one of our sponsors.
“So, a family like the one that came here last weekend, that had five family members taking part in multiple events, were able to pay less than $300 total in fees.
“The Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo Association has also been wonderful to work with! They’ve allowed us to come in and use their facility, because they want to see the sport grow.”
Balon adds that the desire to see rodeo grow and flourish is what motivates her and the others who volunteer to help make the Round-Up Rodeo happen.
“When you grow up taking part in something like rodeo – it becomes much easier to continue doing it as you get older. That’s why we want the Round-Up Rodeo to be something that even little ones can be included in.
“At the end of Last Sunday’s rodeo, we were able to hand out buckles for every event thanks to our sponsors. Two of the kids that were there got their first buckles ever! They were so excited!! It just made my heart burst with joy to see them!
“Knowing that you are providing even little ones with the chance to be involved in this, just makes all of the work involved in putting this event on worthwhile!”

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