The numbers are staggering for the number of entries this year, ensuring some top-notch entertainment for rodeo fans featuring cowgirls and cowboys coming from all over.
There are 33 saddle bronc riders, 22 bareback riders, 35 bullriders, 36 tie-down ropers, 53 steer wrestlers, 51 lady barrel racers, 28 teams of team roping, 13 novice saddle bronc and nine novice bareback that will be featured at this weekend’s Taber Pro Rodeo.
“We have 35 bullriders and last year we had 11,” said Barry Jensen, president of the Taber Pro Rodeo Association. “All across the board, numbers are way up.”
Taber Pro Rodeo Association did quite a bit of work with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association in trying to decide what it needed to do in light of the marquee Calgary rodeo moving down a week which adversely had affected the Taber Pro Rodeo last year. All the weekends were went through and judging by other variables such as weather and little crossover with other rodeos, the July 5 weekend was chosen.
“The weekend that we are on, we are on with Benalto which is one other rodeo and Coronation has a one-day rodeo (July 6). We decided the best weekend to go on was this weekend. Going with Benalto, it makes for better sister rodeos,” said Jensen. “The CPRA office recommended that this is where we need to go and if we go this weekend, they figured it would do the best to get our contestants here and it looks like it has.”
Stock contractors this year will feature Girletz Rodeo Ranch and Big Stone Rodeo.
“Girletz Rodeo is known for their bulls, they have been bucking-bull contractors for years,” said Jensen. “Art Klassen (Big Stone Rodeo) will be bringing in the broncs for the rodeo.”
Those cowboys riding those bulls and broncs promise to be part of a deep field. Scan the entry list and you will see many names near the top of their respective chosen rodeo field.
“We’ve got cowboys and cowgirls coming from Texas, from New Mexico, from the Dakotas, from British Columbia, from Saskatchewan, all over Canada,” said Jensen. “We are really impressed with our numbers and if people want to watch some good rodeo, come and watch it because we are going to have top bucking horses and top bulls there.”
The plethora of extras that will also be included is trick rider Cassie Horner returning for the seventh straight year, beer gardens, mutton busting and a rodeo clown dressing competition.
Performances start at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday at 2 p.m. on the outdoor rodeo grounds situated one-and-a-half miles north of Highway 3 on Highway 864 (M.D. Park Road).
“You have to express extreme thanks to all the rest of the community members for all the work and support they do to this rodeo along with our sponsors and supporters of the rodeo who come out to watch. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do this. The Town of Taber and the M.D. of Taber have been great supporters towards this.” said Jensen.