Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo hits the ground running

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo hits the ground running'
Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo hits the ground running
Spirits were high Thursday as spectators and athletes got roped into the Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club. Sarah Jones reports – Aug 25, 2023

For the second year in a row, the Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo has welcomed top athletes to compete during Whoop-Up Days.

Over three days, spectators are treated to jam-packed evenings that include ladies barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, breakaways, and bull riding.

Tanner Girletz, rodeo administrator with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) explained that the late season stop on the SMS Equipment Pro Rodeo Tour is critical for athletes as money earned during the 56 rodeo events throughout the year helps push competitors to qualify for national events.

“It’s a pretty exciting deal to be a part of,” said Girletz.“It’s cool to get big tour rodeos back and going in Canada when they haven’t been around for a few years. So, to get another $8,000 rodeo for these guys at the end of the season is pretty important for the competitors trying to make another trip to the Canadian Finals.”

Story continues below advertisement

Competing against the best of the best is 19-year-old Jace McPeak Young from Claresholm, who is taking part in his second Lethbridge Pro Rodeo.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid,” said Young. “It’s a good experience for anyone to come out and experience a rodeo.”

The fourth-generation cowboy, who is taking part in the steer wrestling and calf roping competitions, says going up against the pros has helped him step up his game.

“Some of these guys are 35 and up, and when you’re 19 years old, you’re kind sitting back there nervous,” said Young. “But you know you got to pay your dues and watch these guys because they’re good at what they do and you can learn something, and then be good enough one day to beat them.”

Executive producer with the Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo, Kynan Vine, says that the high level of talent doesn’t stop there, as some of the best Indigenous racers in North America also make their way to Lethbridge to compete in Warrior Relay Racing.

“This is one of the bigger prize money purses for the relay racing,” said Vine. “And it’s one of the only rodeos that has relay racing with it. So I think it’s like a two-for-one ticket when you come to watch the Lethbridge Pro Rodeo.”

Story continues below advertisement

Events take place at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club throughout the weekend, with the finals set for Saturday.

Lethbridge and District Pro Rodeo tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Sponsored content