The 24th edition of the Grain Millers Harvest Showdown is set to kick-off next Wednesday at the Gallagher Centre in Yorkton.
Shaun Morin, manager of the Yorkton Exhibition Association, said the annual fall show has a few new elements which should be of interest to patrons.
Wednesday and Thursday will be a new Horse Extravaganza.
Morin said with the end coming to the heavy horse show as breeders moved away from fall shows, the YEA was looking at how it could keep horses part of the event. He said bringing a range of horse-themed entertainment acts together for Harvest Showdown seemed a good way to achieve their goal.
The two days will highlight a range of entertainment associated with horses, including the return of horse pulls, and the chore team competition.
New events include a Gypsy Vanner demonstration by Prairie Thunder Ranch of Saltcoats, Roman riding and trick roping, and a horse mounted shooting demonstration.
In the case of the mounted shooting Morin said there is a new association to promote the sport.
“They’re just getting it going,” he said, adding “it’s been in the States for a long time.”
The sport has riders using traditional six guns, which are shot at balloon targets without bullet projectiles. The blanks break the balloons by the black powder from the gun, meaning competitors must be within about 18-inches of the balloons.
“I don’t know if a lot of people around here have ever seen it,” said Morin. “So we thought it being a new sport in the province we’d bring it in.”
Tom Bishop’s trick riding show will be part of the show, including standing atop four horses jumping obstacles.
Cain Quam will also offer a clinic on how to start a horse to be under saddle.
Morin said four riders from Norquay will also be performing trick riding.
“They’ve done a few shows but this is their first big one,” said Morin.
Morin said the different horse events will be brought together for a show as part of student tours at noon both days, and then for a longer evening performance both evenings at 7 p.m., kicked off by the heavyweight class of the horse pulling competition.
The Yorkton New Holland Rodeo dual sanctioned CCA/MRCA Rodeo will go again this year with performance Friday and Saturday evenings.
Morin said this year a special element of the two nights of rodeo will be the Canadian Cowboy Association finals in the novice division for the rough stock events of bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding.
“We have some future stars in the making here,” said Canadian Cowboys Association General Manager Mark Bencze in a prepared release. “These novice contestants have put in countless hours of rodeo schooling and many highway miles this year just as all of our seasoned competitors have.”
Two first time CCA members have finished at the top of the novice bareback and novice saddle bronc events, Luke Chaplain and Jake Brehauer. Both are Kennedy, SK., cowboys.
Jace Doenz and Austin Ireland, although competing in novice events, are definitely no strangers to the rodeo scene, stated the release. Ireland was an avid competitor in the Junior Steer Riding event and qualified for the CCA Finals in 2011. Jace has been a member with the CCA for four years now and also competed in the Junior steer riding. He qualified for the CCA Finals in 2009 where he had a good finishing.
“JB Moen is sure to be at the top of his game at the Novice Finals. Second place is not an option for JB as he beat out all his competition at Tisdale, Pierson, Radville, Onion Lake, Wood Mountain, Kyle and Wapella rodeos. Lets’ not forget JB is also our 2011 CCA Finals Junior Steer Riding Champion. The Novice Bull Riding is sure to be thrilling,” said Bencze.
This is sure to be an action packed Finals event for these nine cowboys. All three of these titles are sure to be a race to the finish, noted the release.
Wednesday will once again be Canola Day at Harvest Showdown, and Morin said two major speakers highlight the day. Jean-Philippe Gervais, Chief Agricultural Economist, Farm Credit Canada will kick-off the event, with note political writer Paul Martin the afternoon’s keynote speaker.
Ron Witherspoon, an agricultural consultant will speak Wednesday evening.
“The whole day is based around production,” said Morin, noting there will be discussions of everything from straight combining canola, to marketing options.
Harvest Showdown mainstays, such as the commercial grain and forage show Thursday, and the commercial cattle show Thursday and sale Friday are also back.