Sunday, February 28, 2016

Piikani Youth Rodeo returns for 2016 season

Josh Davis

The Piikani Youth Rodeo is running on Wednesdays for the winter. On Wednesday, February 24 the Rodeo gave area youth an opportunity to ride horses and steers. The Piikani Youth Rodeo is open to anyone between the ages of 4 and 25, regardless of race, sex, or creed. The events for the winter rodeo include Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Horsemanship, and Steer Riding. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, 4-7 pm, again at the Pincher Creek Agricultural Society's Horseshoe Pavilion. The Rodeo sponsored by the Aakom Kiyii Health Services Riding Program.

Organizer Tyrone Potts explained that every week they have a twenty minute talk on alcohol and drug prevention. "We talk about all different kinds of things: peer pressure, drugs, the pills that are out there nowadays." Potts explained that they are trying to encourage youth to make the right decisions while they are young. "The biggest reason I wanted to start this program is because when I was a young fella horses changed my life. So I wanted to give everybody the opportunity that they would never normally have to be able to ride horses, and to ride steers."

"I've ridden horses my entire life. I started riding when I was about seven years old," said Potts. "I bring the majority of the horses here. I'm just really honored with all the kids that show up." Potts stressed that the rodeo is open to kids both on and off the reserve. "We won't turn anyone away. There's no cost. We get a lot of kids from town, and the thing is the people from the town that come are very helpful, and they bring a lot of their own horses as well. If somebody is not comfortable on a certain horse, we'll accommodate them. I won't let any young cowboys ride if they're scared, or if they're upset." Potts was proud to state that in three years of hosting the rodeo they've had no injuries.

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