By Justin Seward
Mother Nature decided to co-operate after a downpour upon completion of Friday night’s rodeo, allowing for ideal conditions on Saturday during what was an exciting 71st annual Foremost Agriculture Society Rodeo over the weekend.
“We had a very successful day yesterday,” said Foremost Agriculture Society president Craig Walsh. “Our slacks went off beautiful. Our evening performance was excellent. We got done before any showers came over.
“Our parade this morning was well attended. We’re always struggling a little bit to get floats now that the town shrinks a little bit. You see that.”
The most noticeable difference at the rodeo is that local cowboys and cowgirls “make a special effort to be here,” and opt out of other rodeos to ride here, he said.
He added that it helped with a younger crew getting involved in rodeo a couple years back who came in and knew the situation and were able to bring the rodeo to current to keep people interested.
“We brought in a different announcer, we brought in a sound man,” said Walsh. “We did some of these kinds of things (so) people are willing to come watch then. We were struggling with numbers and age and when your youngest guy on your rodeo crew is 65, it’s kind of an issue.”
On the other hand, the rodeo has been going for 71 years, so there is an upside with experience and the rodeo crew has stuck with their style and it has worked for a long time with the beer garden and concession.
“People know they have to do a shift in the concession,” he said.
“If you’re on my contact list, you’re going to work in the beer garden. People know that because they’re willing to put in that one weekend a year.”
Michelle Cowie is a member of the agricultural society with her husband Jess, the rodeo’s vice-president. Their roots have always revolved around ranching and volunteering at the rodeo in their hometown.
They’re parents to a little girl. With their volunteer efforts, their daughter can enjoy the rodeo too, said Cowie.
“It’s been going for a long time and it’s a big community event,” she said.
“The community is really fantastic for supporting it. There so many community volunteers that come spend time. They’re flipping burgers, working the gate. We could not do this without volunteers. We have a very small rodeo committee and we can only do some much ourselves.”
New this year was the restructuring of the wild cow milking, where a team used to be entered, but it was getting to a stage of being competitive and now it went to draw system, while on Sunday there was a junior bull riding and team roping jack pot.
Quade Hughson won the junior bull riding jackpot, Cale Simanton won the free style bull fighting, while the team of Dustin O’Donnell and Chase Kellet took home the team roping jackpot.