Over 200 riders participated each day in the Can-Am Barrel Classic held at the Calnash Ag Event Center in Ponoka on July 18 and 19.

Over 200 riders participated each day in the Can-Am Barrel Classic held at the Calnash Ag Event Center in Ponoka on July 18 and 19.

World champion barrel racer competes in Ponoka

A desire to help her daughter turn pro barrel racer has brought a world champion barrel racer from Oklahoma to Ponoka.

By David Thielen

A desire to help her daughter turn pro barrel racer has brought a world champion barrel racer from Oklahoma to Ponoka.

“My daughter Calay wants to turn pro, but she’s not old enough to compete in the US. So we came to Canada where she is old enough to ride pro,” said Jane Melby at the Can-Am Barrel Classic held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre in Ponoka on July 18 and 19.

“She wants to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton in November.”

“So like a good mom, I’ve given up my year of competing to support her in her goal,” said Melby in an interview before one of her barrel racing runs.

“We run our young stock at these events, so that we can get them seasoned for the pro rodeo circuit.”

“I haven’t actually seen the results, but I’ve been told that Calay is currently number 3 in the standings,” she said.

The Melbys are currently based out of Cochrane, Alberta because it is centrally located to most of the rodeos.

Taylor Shields of Cochrane, riding Flyin High Gamble took the 1st and 2nd go of the Canam Ponoka Open with a time of 17.318.

Jordie Likes, of Valleyview, riding Heaven Sent King Girl, took 2nd in the first go with a time of 17.463.

Kaylee Jo Henkelman, of Ponoka riding Bullys Red Fire took the third in 4D with a time of 18.831.

Jaycee Bremner of Ponoka, riding Hustler took first in the 5D with a time of 19.338.