Ponoka Composite High School is taking the first steps to rope and ride with the Bronc Rodeo Academy.
The idea is the brainchild of assistant principal Ron Rarick and teacher Scott MacGregor to utilize the equine industry, which they consider one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.
“It’s another way to get students to finish high school and we would use this rodeo program as a tool to accomplish this,” said MacGregor.
He says that it will be different from high school rodeo as the students would do school work in the morning and their equine activities in the afternoon.
“Ponoka has the Stanley Cup of rodeos in North America and we wanted to use the great community of Ponoka and its rodeo background to meet the interests of our students,” said MacGregor.
Starting in January 2009 PCHS will introduce the Broncs horsemanship credits. The classes will allow students to interact with horses and meet different people in the horse industry. MacGregor explains that the students will learn how to groom a horse, saddle it, halter break and watch how a horse is broken. He says that this will help show who is interested in the next year of the program.
In the second year of the program the goal is to offer rodeo events including; barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping and calf roping.
The rodeo academy’s second year programming is still in the works as the staff at PCHS meet with Wolf Creek School board and look for community support but MacGregor is optimistic that the program will be heading down the chutes soon.