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Children with special needs become rodeo stars at CFR

EDMONTON – On Thursday morning, students with special needs from around Edmonton had the chance to experience what it’s like to be Canadian Finals Rodeo star.

More than 150 children stepped in the Rexall Place arena during the CFR’s annual Rodeo Magic event.

“This day’s just all about coming out here and giving back a little bit. You know, giving back to the kids that come out,” said Adam Jamieson, professional bull rider.

“There’s, I don’t know how many kids here, but they’re all having a blast, and it’s good to see.”

READ MORE: Saddle up, Edmonton! CFR kicks off Wednesday

The moment they walked into Rexall Place they all got a cowboy hat and bandanna. The kids then stepped into the arena, led by a CFR cowboy or cowgirl, to enjoy a number of activities including calf roping, barrel bronc riding, and mini wagon riding.

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“It’s really fun. There’s so much to do. I don’t know what to pick,” said Eryn Alook.

More than 150 students with special needs enjoy the annual Rodeo Magic event at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015.
More than 150 students with special needs enjoy the annual Rodeo Magic event at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Erin Chalmers, Global News

What many were picking was horse riding. Volunteers said horse riding was the most popular activity for the children, particularly those with autism, because of the immediate connection they make with the animal.

“It just brings out the total joy in so many of the kids,” said volunteer Roger Page.

The annual private event has also allowed children between the ages of six and 14 to meet professional cowboys and cowgirls.

READ MORE: Magical morning for kids at annual K-Days event

The event is similar to Monday Morning Magic at K-Days during the summer, when children are given private access to all the rides.

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