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South Saskatchewan Little Britches Rodeo Association celebrates 40 years

Posted on September 7, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Samantha Johnson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The South Saskatchewan Little Britches Rodeo Association has come a long way since 11 active members of the rodeo community founded it in 1983.

“Families were travelling to rodeos at the time and looking for a way to support the sport of rodeo for youth,” explained secretary of the association Kim Pridmore.

Membership fees were $1 and the first rodeos that year were held in Val Marie, Swift Current, Radville and Wood Mountain. Rules and events aligned with the Canadian Cowboys Association, the primary rodeo association in Saskatchewan at that time.

“Most of the families that started the Little Britches were already going to those rodeos, they aligned all the events and the rules with the CCA,” explained Pridmore, who was 10 at the time and grew up with Little Britches being the only rodeo for kids.

There were eight original events: bareback riding, bull riding, junior steer riding, steer un-decorating, breakaway roping, plus junior and senior barrel racing. Additionally, there was an all-around award for those entering both roughstock and timed events.

In the last few years – with a circuit of Shaunavon, Eastend, Consul, Maple Creek and Dunmore – 100-120 kids have been entering in each rodeo, with most competing in multiple events. As a result, the association added a peewee division for kids eight and under to go with the junior division for 12 and under and seniors for 17 and under.

“Year-end awards have always been trophy buckles. In recent years, we’ve had generous support and have been able to offer buckles in every event and age group, including an all-around boys and girls high point awards. This year we’re excited to present 22 year-end buckles at Dunmore on Sept. 10, which is the finals for the year,” said Pridmore.

The LBRA strives to attract kids of all ages and skill levels, from absolute beginners to those who are already competing at a higher level. Pridmore says they want to make it easy and affordable for families to bring all their kids to compete, adding they are proud to say many top rodeo cowboys and cowgirls competing today can trace their beginnings back to Little Britches.

The association continues to keep membership and entry fees as low as possible. Four decades in, Pridmore believes the original members would be proud of what Little Britches Rodeo has done for kids to get a start, build confidence and meet like minded kids.

“This year I’ve seen 10 to 15 new families that weren’t coming last year,” she said. “That is encouraging because it says there are families who appreciate having rodeos close to home. It’s an affordable place to take your kids for the day where they can hang out with their horse and other kids with the same interests and have some fun.

“That’s what we are really proud of and hope to continue for many years.”

To celebrate 40 years, there will be special prizes drawn in each age group for anyone who entered three or more rodeos. Prizes will be on display and drawn at Dunmore Equestrian Centre, which is hosting its Little Britches Rodeo on Sept. 9-10.

For more information visit the South Saskatchewan Little Britches Rodeo Association Facebook page, which now boasts more than 1,200 members.

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