Saturday , 31 July 2021
A barrel racer competes at the Junior High Finals Rodeo in 2020. Photo credit: Wildwood Imagery/Chantelle Bowman.

High school rodeo season gets exemption

There will be a high school rodeo event in St. Paul April 16 – 18 according to St. Paul Ag Society President Doug Drolet.

While the details around how exactly the event will run are still being worked out, Drolet said he and everyone else are very happy with the news.

“We’ve been sitting around here too long,” said Drolet.

He said he expects to meet with the rest of the high school rodeo committee shortly to start figuring out how to make things work and hopes to have more information after Easter Weekend.

“We haven’t went through the logistics. AHS is going to be watching us, we can only have a limited number of people in the building, no spectators other than parents,” said Drolet.

The St. Paul High School Rodeo is part of the larger Alberta High School Rodeo Association season which will be running from April 10 through June 10 in all three districts of the province.

According to AHSRA Chair Patricia Mckean, the association has received an exclusive letter of exemption to be allowed to have their season.

“So our season is going to be a test pilot to monitor and see the outcomes to be able to open up all of rodeo,” said Mckean.

She said she and the association have been working closely with their MLAs and a working group at Alberta Health Services to make this happen and credited other rodeo associations for all the support given throughout the process.

“Some amateur, but primarily pro rodeo groups. That whole group advocated to start with high school rodeo,” said Mckean.

She said at this point they don’t have the full protocols for the rodeos from AHS, but they expect to have more details following the Easter Weekend.

“It’ll be such things as screening individuals prior to them entering the facility, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, masking. And then limitations such as where kids will warm up together those kinds of things and then limiting of spectators,” said Mckean.

She said the AHSRA will work directly with all their rodeo associations to manage the events at each facility “because each district has a different amount of kids, and each one will have different needs that they need to meet.”

In terms of the rodeo events themselves, she expects all the individual and team events to go ahead because the sport is naturally distanced for the cowboys and cowgirls.

“It’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the time being,” said Mckean.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.