It has been a long hard season for the veterans of rodeo, and with only a month left in regular season action the push is on for their weary bodies to get to the Canadian and hopefully the National Finals Rodeo. But for some on the Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour this is a brand new experience. Traveling thousands of miles to rodeos all across the country is an exciting prospect and a grand adventure. The young men on the Calgary Stampede Novice Pro Tour have been put through their paces all summer and their hard work and commitment is paying off in these dog days of summer.
This past weekend, Strathmore saw the conclusion of the Calgary Stampede sponsored Novice tour, which consists of seven rodeos across Alberta including the Calgary Stampede itself. Young competitors in the Novice Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Junior Steer Riding earn points through those rodeos towards a tour championship. The Calgary Stampede pays the entry fees for all of the young competitors at each rodeo and sponsors a bronze trophy and gold and silver championship buckle for each of the tour champions.
The goal is to promote the sport to young competitors in hopes that they will learn the ropes at a professional level and advance into the top ranks of rodeo as our future super stars. At the very least the Calgary Stampede loves to see young competitors being able to be a part of the sport and get to spend time with some of the greatest rodeo athletes on the circuit. The Stampede ranch also supplies young horses for most of the rodeos on the tour giving the young animals and young riders a chance to hone their skills.
This past weekend saw some great competition with a few young but familiar faces taking home the bronze trophies. Kolby Wanchuck was the top Novice Saddle Bronc rider on the Tour and is looking great for advancing on to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. In the Bareback it was Tanner Young, who is looking to make a return trip to Edmonton in the fall. In the Steer Riding it was Carter Sahli who claimed the Tour Championship and by the expression on his face during his ride at the Stampede, you can tell he is a fierce competitor.
The Calgary Stampede could not be happier for these young cowboys and is proud to be a part of building rodeo athletes for the next generation. The Stampede loves nothing more than to celebrate youth achievement – so to this year’s Calgary Stampede Novice Tour Champions goes a big tip of the hat!