Sunday, August 19, 2012

Young equestrians demonstrate their skills at 2012 Family Fun Gymkhana

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Eddie Mitchell on Tigger at the 2012 Pincher Creek Gymkhana
C. Davis photos
On Friday morning, August 17 the rodeo day began in Pincher Creek with the Family Fun Gymkhana.  28 young equestrians divided into 5 categories participated in 6 events, including barrel racing, pole bending, stake race, keyhole, ribbon race, and command.

Onlookers were treated to nonstop action as the participants demonstrated the skills they've learned over the past year, competing not so much with each other but rather against their own personal bests and the clock.  The principles of teamwork were much in evidence, particularly during the ribbon race, a demanding exercise in which two riders stretch a tissue between them and have to complete the course without letting go of or breaking the tissue.  This event requires perfect harmony between two riders and two horses from beginning to end.

Precision and control are emphasized in Gymkhana, as is the relationship between rider and horse.  From youngest to oldest, without exception, the participants showed a remarkable level of horsemanship and skill.

Moms, dads, rodeo princesses, Bob Westrop on the mic, and a crew of others deserve a special mention for helping to make this event happen.

Ribbon racers Grace Sippola and Truman Westrop 
Chris Davis photo

Some of these kids are our future rodeo wonders.  Others just want to learn good horsemanship and ranching skills.  All of them demonstrated a direct connection with the gritty spirit of the west.  They are indeed the future for the rural way of life so prized here, and on this day it was apparent that future will be in good hands.


7 years old and under
Grace Sippola
Hunter Sippola
Truman Westrop

8-10 years old
Ericka Mackenzie
Ben Mitchell
Mia Westrop
Annah Westrop
Noah Jessen
Ruth Jones

11-13 years old
Sarah Kirby
Taylor Delay
Kelsey Whipple
Katelynn Drake
Kassidy Bonertz
Jillana Hammond
Taite Jessen
Braden Jessen
Serenity Jones

14-18 years old
Rebecca Taylor
Kelsey Simpson
Kayla Zielke
Bailey Whipple

Lead Line
Ryder Oczkowski
Kiah Simpson
Liam Dunbar
Eddie Mitchell
Ava Jessen

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