High school rodeo finals set for Ponoka

Ponoka and area will be represented by 10 cowboys and cowgirls at the Alberta High School Rodeo finals on June 13, 14 and 15 at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds. The top five competitors at the finals will head to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Farmington, New Mexico on July 20 to 26. If they finish fifth to tenth they qualify for the Silver State Finals in Fallon, Nevada on June 30 to July 5.

  • Jun. 11, 2008 12:00 p.m.
Reid Butterfield

Reid Butterfield

By Tiffany Williams

Editor

Ponoka and area will be represented by 10 cowboys and cowgirls at the Alberta High School Rodeo finals on June 13, 14 and 15 at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds. The top five competitors at the finals will head to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Farmington, New Mexico on July 20 to 26. If they finish fifth to tenth they qualify for the Silver State Finals in Fallon, Nevada on June 30 to July 5.

Ponoka cowboy Brett Buss has been roping since he was six years old and competing in high school rodeo for the last four years. This year he tied for third in tie down roping and was first in team roping. Having the finals in front of his hometown does not phase him.

“It’s just another rodeo, I’ve done professional and amateur rodeos and I just have to take it steer by steer,” said Buss.

In 2007 he was the season leader and won the finals and in 2006 he won tie down roping at high school rodeo. He thinks that one of the main goals in high school rodeo is to have fun and enjoy the experience.

“Everybody is there to help everybody out. Especially the guys, they are willing to share their horse or give advice,” said Buss “It’s a place to have fun and be competitive at the same time.”

Reid Butterfield finished fourth overall in steer wrestling and his best result of the year was winning Boden. Unlike Buss, he really likes the fact that the finals are held in Ponoka.

“I like the performances in Ponoka because there are more people here to watch and more support,” said Butterfield.

Wacey Finkbeiner finished second overall in bull riding this season and his best finish was winning Handhills. He was named bull riding rookie of the year.

“I really like it a lot because there is a lot of competition but at the same time you can really enjoy yourself,” said Finkbeiner. “For me this year I set a goal to win rookie of the year and I was pretty excited that I achieved that.”

Bailey Whyte finished second in barrel racing and fourth in pole bending this year. She won the Handhills rodeo in barrels and enjoys high school rodeo because of the friends she has met.

“You get a chance to learn new things and improve your skills,” said Whyte. “If you are having trouble with your horse there are people to get help from.”

Grade 10 student Mack Smith is also looking forward to the finals because he thinks that it is a really good atmosphere to compete in.

Other local competitors include; Gina Flewelling in breakaway roping and goat tying, Lawrie Saunders in breakaway roping, Coby Auclair in goat tying and barrel racing, Lane Wolf in steer wrestling, tie down roping and team roping and Taylor Smith in pole bending.