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Local athletes prepare for WRA Finals

The Wildrose Rodeo Association (WRA) Finals is fast approaching Sept. 21-24 at the Rimbey Co-operators Agrim Centre.
Dylan Conners, Quaide Skjonsberg and Denton Skjonsberg will all be competing at the WRA Finals in Rimbey Sept. 21-24. (Photo by Cheri Conners)

The Wildrose Rodeo Association (WRA) Finals is fast approaching Sept. 21-24 at the Rimbey Co-operators Agrim Centre.

Cowboys and cowgirls from all across Alberta will be in attendance competing in different categories. Three Rimbey riders are looking forward to competing in the final rodeo of the season. To qualify for the WRA, riders must compete in seven rodeos throughout the year, and they take the top six in the standings.

Throughout the winter it’s all about practice pens and keeping in shape before the next season starts up.

Dylan Conners will be competing in the bull riding.

He first got into bull riding from his dad, who rode them.

“My whole family’s been in the rodeo scene for quite a few years.”

His favourite part of the rodeo scene is the crowd.

“Everyone that rodeos is kind of like a big family at times,” he said.

Conners first started on steers when he was just six years old and then moved to pro cows for two years before getting onto open bulls, which are another term used for big bulls.

“My first ever rodeo was actually the Rimbey Rodeo.”

Now graduated, Conners currently works at JEMCO Feeds and Supplies in Rimbey. When he’s not working he enjoys hanging out with his friends and family. He also goes on rides all of the time on the family acreage.

Range road neighbours to Conners are the Skjonsberg brothers.

Sixteen-year-old Denton Skjonsberg will be competing in novice saddle bronc.

When he was younger, he remembers seeing some videos of saddlebronc, which got him interested in giving it a shot.

“It looked pretty fun,” he said, adding that it was at around age 10 when he did bareback and steer riding.

He went onto saddle bronc riding at 15 years old.

His favourite part about the sport is the competition, meeting all of the others competing in the sport.

He is currently in school and hopes to do college rodeo in the States. He also hopes to take a fish and wildlife course while down there.

In his spare time, he attends school in Rimbey and enjoys deer hunting.

Competing against Denton is his brother Quaide, 15 years old, who will be competing in bareback. The junior saddle bronc riders and junior bareback riders compete together in the Novice Horse Riding division, so all season they all compete against each other.

Quaide’s dad used to be a bareback rider, so Quaide followed in his footsteps.

“When I was young in the top of my closet I found his old scrapbook and a little old bareback riggin’,” he said.

After looking through all of his pictures, he thought he’d give it a try.

It was at around eight years old when Quaide got on little ponies.

His favourite part of the sport is winning, the crowds, people you get to meet and the whole atmosphere of it.

Currently, he’s in school and also involved in high school football and tries to do some leather work. He also helps on the family farm.

“I like to hunt, I hunt a lot.”

Looking to the future, Quaide said he’d like to attend post secondary in the States and college rodeo.

“I’ll go to school to hopefully become a vet and once I turn 18 I’m hopefully going to get my pro card and try to make the NFR that year.”