July 3-5th will bring competitors of the Manitoba Highschool Rodeo Associations to Swan River, Manitoba to participate in the first rodeo since COVID-19. Athletes will travel from Langenburg, Churchbridge, Esterhazy, Tantallon, Spy Hill and MacNutt (among others).
The MHSRA started in 1995 with high school students from grades 9-12. Then adding grade 6-8 in the jr division in 2006 and in 2016 “little buckaroos” for kindergarten to grade 5 to learn rodeo and see the fun to be experienced.
Over the years there have been a few locals who were involved in the MHSRA such as Mason Helmeczi of Esterhazy, Danny Vandenameele of Langenburg, and Jessa MacNabb from Churchbridge. All participated in the MHSRA while attending high school.
Recently Mark Buchberger of Langenburg took on the role of president of the MHSRA with daughters, Harley and Avery Buchberger participating with great pride and dedication.
COVID-19 has not only put a twist on all our lives it has also put a huge twist on the lives of the students wishing to participate in HS Rodeo. However, like any true rodeo participant and the Manitoba Government finally allowing it, the MHSRA is very pleased to be able to hold the MHSRA finals and graduation this year.
When COVID-19 first shut this country down most rodeo students were heartbroken that they could possibly not have any rodeos this summer. The executive directors along with the Highschool Rodeo Associations worked very closely with the Manitoba Government to devise a way for the participants to still compete in the finals and have their HS graduation.
Mark Buchberger, president of the MHSRA, along with Rod Gladue the National Director for the province of Manitoba worked closely with MP Ian Wishart from Portage La Prairie to devised a very workable plan to achieve not only finals for the MHSRA but also a “Cowboy Prom” the graduation ceremony for graduating members of the MHSRA.
The MHSRA will be the very first rodeo held in Canada since COVID-19 brought the world as we once knew it to a screeching halt. As Manitoba officials are anxious to reopen Manitoba back up, they feel this will be a great start as it is a larger outdoor event expecting less than 500 people in attendance.
All precautions have been planned to ensure the safety of participants as well as spectators alike with all Government COVID-19 policies followed or surpassed.
One of the local participants of the MSHRA, Callie Helmeczi, of Esterhazy will be competing in HS Barrel Racing, HS Breakaway Roping and HS Pole Bending.
Competing in the HS Barrel Racing, HS Goat Tying and HS Pole Bending from Stockholm is Sheradyn Griffith. Her brother, Drydan Griffith, participates in JH Boy’s Breakaway and JH Boy’s Goat Tying.
Avery Buchberger proudly participates in HS goat tying and HS Pole Bending, her younger sister Harley Buchberger participates in JH Barrel Racing, JH Girl’s Breakaway, JH Girl’s Goat Tying and JH Girl’s Pole Bending.
Carly Rea Hudacek, of Tantallon, participates in JH Barrel Racing and JH Pole Bending.
Coy Garvin from Spy Hill is another JH Boy’s Breakaway and JH Boy’s Goat Tying participant.
Joel Andres proudly represents MacNutt in the JH Bull Riding event.
So if you are looking for a really good family outing in a safe environment plan of heading up to Swan River, Manitoba and watch these high school kids shine at the first rodeo since COVID-19 on July 3 - 5, 2020.