High School Rodeo summer run kicks off in Oak Lake this weekend!

High School Rodeo summer run kicks off in Oak Lake this weekend!

The spring season of High School Rodeo kicks off in Oak Lake this weekend with these dynamic young people competing for more points now in the latter half of the season. The High School Rodeo season follows the school season, beginning in September and ending in June.

Allistair Hagan is a parent of two of these talented competitors, as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the High School Rodeo Association of Manitoba.

“We’re just getting ready to fire up for the completion of our 2023-2024 season and our first rodeo of the year will be in Oak Lake,” shares Hagan. “We’re very fortunate to have the committee of Oak Lake host the event again. They probably host most of the High School rodeos of any community, probably in the history of the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association, and they’ve got wonderful Ag grounds, and a wonderful core group of volunteers, and it’s the perfect community for us to go into to start the season – and we’re always happy to be there!”

Participants compete in all things rodeo (barrel events, roping, break-aways) as well as all the livestock events, bronc and bull riding. Additional competitions including light rifle with a .22 rifle and trap shooting with shotgun for those wanting to compete in target shooting.

Hagan says competitors will continue to collect points over the next 5 weeks in rodeos across the province, including Rapid City, Gilbert Plains and Richer.

Provincial High School Finals will be in Richer, MB and the Provincial Junior High School Finals will take place in Gilbert Plains, both events in June.

Those families whose Grades 5-8 kids qualify for the Junior High National Finals will be traveling to Des Moines, Iowa the last week in June. Also, the High School Finals, Grades 9-12, will take place in Rock Springs, Wyoming the first week or so in July. The first weekend in August brings the action to the Keystone Center for the Canadian Nationals High School Rodeo Championship in Brandon!

If they qualify, competitors will be traveling to the US to compete against other incredible kids doing incredible things in the saddle from across Canada, the US, Australia and Mexico.

These competitions are exciting for these young riders and their families, says Hagan. The top four achievers in their respective competition in the Manitoba running qualify for the nationals that take place in Iowa and Wyoming – these being two of the largest rodeos in the world, anywhere from 1600-1800 competitors!

The Hagan family ranch just south of Virden, with hopes to have both of their kids qualify for each of the two national events, Slade in Grade 8 and Harley in Grade 11.

If you can’t imagine your youngster riding a bull, know that these kids are properly trained!

The High School Rodeo Association trains young people on bronc and bull riding through their ‘Build a Cowboy Program’ where kids start with junior steers when in Junior High. When they graduate into High School the game gets ramped up to include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding!

“The High School Rodeo prides itself on setting up safety first,” explains Hagan. “So, each kid has to go through the proper safety channels and clinics. Most of your professional competitors now adays have definitely been graduates of the High School Rodeo system.”

Hagan invites everyone to come out to the Saturday, May 11th rodeo at Oak Lake.

“Hopefully we have great weather! We have a wonderful community host and it’s pretty infectious to watch these many kids being that active and that happy at the same time!”

Please listen to more with Allistair Hagan below!