School News

Students in the Spotlight: High School Rodeo

Maddy Stark showing her skills.

Maddy Stark showing her skills.

The Alberta High School Rodeo Association promotes interest in rodeo sports among junior and senior high school students while fostering exemplary conduct and sportsmanship. It provides training and competition opportunities for members. In addition, the Association offers young people the opportunity of continuing their education through scholarships. In order to be a member of High School Rodeo, a student must have a signed form from the school’s principal stating that they are a student in good standing, worthy to represent the school.

Three talented OJSH students are actively involved in Alberta’s High School Rodeo Association. Bailey Bartel will be graduating OJSH this year; she has been an active competitor in High School Rodeo for two years. Bailey says she was ‘born into it’ and she loves the adrenaline rush of competition. Her two horses, Blink and Sully, are her best and most-loved friends and they help her earn points on the circuit in pole bending, barrels, breakaway roping, team roping and goat tying.

This accomplished young rider was looking to increase her points until a collarbone injury sidelined her for a few weeks this fall and she will miss four rodeo competitions. Bailey hopes to catch up on her points in the spring when the rodeo season heats up – even though the weather is often cold and snowy at the beginning.

Madysen “Maddy” Johnson is also in Grade 12, graduating this year from OJSH. Maddy’s specialty in High School Rodeo is breakaway roping although she also competes in barrels and poles. Her breakaway horse is Steel and her horse for barrels and poles is Oakie.

Maddy has been rodeoing since the age of five but has only been in High School Rodeo for a year. Maddy loves the adrenaline rush and the competitive nature of her sport. She has been in two rodeos this fall and already has placed in the top ten. Her goal is to gain enough points to qualify for provincials at Ponoka in early summer and then go for nationals in Wyoming. She has not ruled out a career in pro rodeo after she graduates in June. Her enthusiasm and talent will take her far.

Colby Stark is on the Junior High School Rodeo circuit. Colby is in Grade 8 this year at OJSH and has already made a name for himself in the rodeo world. Colby is a mini bronc rider. Saddle bronc is his favourite event but he also enjoys bare back and steer riding. He enjoys calf roping and team roping as well. He has experienced rodeos from a young age as his parents used to rodeo and they have passed the love of the sport onto him. Colby says he loves the adrenaline rush that the sport gives him.

Colby has amazing talent and ability - he earned so many points on the circuit last year that he qualified to compete at the Junior NFR Worlds in Las Vegas in December, 2017. Colby did not disappoint in his showing at the Worlds: he claimed the Jr. NFR World saddle bronc championship. This season, Colby has qualified once again to make a return trip to Las Vegas this coming December where he will defend his championship title.

These three young people are a credit to their sport, their parents and to our school.

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