Ponoka cowboys and cowgirls eye buckles

CHARLES TWEED/Ponoka News

Ponoka will send a healthy contingent to the Alberta High School Rodeo Finals held at the Stampede grounds from June 10 to 12.

The emergence of Ponoka Composite High School’s rodeo academy has pushed this year’s group to new levels and in most cases Ponoka has a favorite to place in each event.

Sheldon Stretch is in first place throughout the season in the boys cutting event, almost doubling his closest competitor in Division 2.

Klay Rowley stands the best shot for a buckle in steer wrestling, Logan Bonnett and Nick Smith are good bets to be in the running in the team roping (header) while Jordan Smith is a favorite for the team roping (heeler) event but don’t be surprised if Keely Bonnet and Tyrel Gordon are right in the action as well.

Quaid Wolfe has victories on his 2011 resume and will compete in the team roping event.

Jessa Galloway might have the best shot at walking away with multiple saddles or buckles as she sits third in the barrels and goat tying overall for the district.

Tynille Clemmer has also had a strong season in the barrels while Jenny Massing is a good bet for the breakaway, sitting in fourth place in the overall standings with Galloway and Clemmer three spots back in sixth and seventh.

Kathleen Fairbrother sits fifth in girls cutting and will compete at the Finals.

Ponoka and area will have a competitor in every timed event but won’t have anyone competing in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding.

The Alberta High School Rodeo will feature the top point earners in each division from the three divisions across the province. The action gets started at 11 a.m. on June 10.