Arcola will be hosting their High School Rodeo on Sept. 2 and 3. Cancelled in May due to wet weather, the committee is looking forward to hosting the rodeo after a one-year-hiatus from the high school circuit.
More than 115 Saskatchewan high school students are expected to participate in the rodeo from throughout the province. With contestants travelling from as far north as Saskatoon and as far south as Big Beaver, a talented group of cowboys and cowgirls are expected to be on hand.
Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association was established in 1991. With the help of groups such as the Arcola Fair and Stampede committee, they are able to provide students with about 20 rodeos to compete in throughout the year.
Cowboys and cowgirls in the circuit compete for prizes and points that can earn them a position on the Provincial Rodeo Team. From there, the top six qualify for the Canadian High School and Junior High School Finals in August. The top four from each Province also qualify for the National High School and National Junior High School Finals that are held every July in the United States.
In addition to the opportunity to compete at the national level, educational scholarships are also up for grabs. Last year, $750,000 was disbursed nationally of which $18,000 was given to Saskatchewan contestants.
For the rodeo this weekend, two divisions exist. The High School division, for students in grades nine to 12, includes steer wrestling, saddle bronc, bare back, bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, break away roping, poles and goats. The Wrangler division is for students in grade six to nine. Participants in this division will compete in chute dogging, tie down, goats, junior steers, ribbon roping, team roping, barrel racing, break away roping and poles.
In order to compete, students are held to an academic standard in terms of both marks and behaviour. The participants must not only be full-time students, but must maintain a passing grade. In addition, they must have a positive attitude in school to be eligible to compete. Furthermore, the contestants must have their teachers and parents sign their entry forms before they are allowed to complete at each individual rodeo.
The rodeo starts at 10 a.m. on Friday with the Wrangler division, followed by the High School division at 1 p.m. At 12:50 p.m., the crowning of the rodeo princess will take place.
Saturday kicks off with the Fireman's Pancake Breakfast at the fire hall from 7 to 9 a.m. The rodeo will kick off at 9 a.m. with the Wrangler division, followed by the High School division at 12 p.m. Additionally, there will be cutting that takes place on Saturday following the high school division.
In addition to the rodeo fun, bouncing play structures will be located inside the hall for children from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Gate admission is $5 with the exception of 6 and under who are free. Food is available on the grounds all day.