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Southwestern Manitoba rodeo keeping western spirit alive – CBC.ca

Moving from a bustling Canadian urban centre to the heart of rural southwestern Manitoba, a former Winnipeg family is embracing rural life on the prairies.

The Stewart family, Keightley, 12, Brett, Kendra and Henry, 6, moved to Virden in August 2015. They had been living in Deloraine for three years prior.

Before moving to rural Manitoba, the family had only known city life spending time in Winnipeg and Calgary. While it was a bit of adjustment, Kendra said, the family has embraced the western way of life.

Keightley was five when she first began to ride — initially as an English rider and later grabbing the western saddle horn.

Slone Brown, 8, Garrett Gompf, 9, and Kesler Brown, 8, ride cattle in the stockyard. (Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

It was fun but nerve-wracking riding her lesson pony Buzz for the first time, Keightley said, but with support and practice her confidence in the saddle grew. Her skills were enhanced through her local 4-H Light Horse and Pony Club.

Kaleb Kelly from Rocanville, Sask. works on his rodeo skills. (Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

She and her current horse Ella made their Manitoba High School Rodeo debut over the weekend at the Virden Indoor Rodeo. She competed in goat tying, pole bending and barrel racing.

“It doesn’t matter what you do or where you live. There’s always something you can find to do like horse riding Whether you live in a city or not.” Keightley said.

Billie Cowan, 12, of Gainsborough, Sask, holds a goat. (Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

The entire Stewart family has embraced prairie rodeo life. Kendra says they were driven to join the horse crew at the Virden Rodeo because of the vibrant community in the area.

Their experience shows it’s possible to anyone to enter the world of rodeo, Brett added.

“Having … the support we do of these life lifelong cowboy cowboys and horse people, you know, we have a really nice safety net of people to ask questions to and stuff like that, and people are willing to help us,” he said.

A competitor readies to bust out of the shoot for bull riding. (Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

Youth ‘fall in love’ watching rodeo

It was great to be getting youth back for the Virden Indoor Rodeo for the first time since 2019, said the event’s president Thomas Hagan.

“It’s a really strong horse community in Virden,” Hagan said. “It seems like everybody in Virden knows somebody … that’s a horse person that rodeos or … shows horses — they’re very connected.”

The Virden rodeo offers the chance to showcase rough stock events like bronc and bulls and horsemanship skills. Youth are inspired by these sights, he said, and high school rodeo numbers in the area are climbing.

A competitor goes for the eight second mark in bull riding. (Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

Young people are getting in the ring early with their eyes set on one day competing in events like the Virden Rodeo.

“The town kids come and watch the rodeo and fall in love with it,” he said.

Hagan was especially excited to see breakaway roping included in this year. During the event cowgirls rope cattle and their time stops when the rope breaks from the animal’s horn.

Kobe Comita, left, Denton Dunham and Bruce Dunham prepare …….

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/virden-indoor-rodeo-1.6557627

Moving from a bustling Canadian urban centre to the heart of rural southwestern Manitoba, a former Winnipeg family is embracing rural life on the prairies.

The Stewart family, Keightley, 12, Brett, Kendra and Henry, 6, moved to Virden in August 2015. They had been living in Deloraine for three years prior.

Before moving to rural Manitoba, the family had only known city life spending time in Winnipeg and Calgary. While it was a bit of adjustment, Kendra said, the family has embraced the western way of life.

Keightley was five when she first began to ride — initially as an English rider and later grabbing the western saddle horn.

Slone Brown, 8, Garrett Gompf, 9, and…….

Moving from a bustling Canadian urban centre to the heart of rural southwestern Manitoba, a former Winnipeg family is embracing rural life on the prairies.

The Stewart family, Keightley, 12, Brett, Kendra and Henry, 6, moved to Virden in August 2015. They had been living in Deloraine for three years prior.

Before moving to rural Manitoba, the family had only known city life spending time in Winnipeg and Calgary. While it was a bit of adjustment, Kendra said, the family has embraced the western way of life.

Keightley was five when she first began to ride — initially as an English rider and later grabbing the western saddle horn.

Slone Brown, 8, Garrett Gompf, 9, and…….

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