Big Valley cowgirl takes home Canadian high school honours

After winning a Canadian championship in late July, Big Valley cowgirl Allie Hiemstra got a head-start

Stettler student Allie Hiemstra

Stettler student Allie Hiemstra

After winning a Canadian championship in late July, Big Valley cowgirl Allie Hiemstra got a head-start on her back-to-school shopping.

As part of her goat-tying awards at the Canadian High School Finals Rodeo, Hiemstra received a gift certificate from Cowboy Country Clothing store in Nanton, which hosted the four-province championship.

“I went in there right after and picked everything out,” she said. “I got a pair of jeans and a pair of cowboy boots.”

Hiemstra, who’s going into Grade 12 at William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler, also won a shiny buckle, spurs and a $500 scholarship that she hopes to redeem at a U.S. college within a couple of years.

Hiemstra was on the road for three weeks in July, competing in the National High School Finals Rodeo at Wyoming and, after a couple of days at home, the Canadian championship in Nanton.

She more than made up for “a tough go” stateside at Rock Springs, Wy., with a championship performance at Nanton.

“It was nice,” said Hiemstra, who turns 17 in October.

“I won the first round, and then I placed third in the second round, and second in the third round. My times were all consistent.

“I was pretty happy — pretty excited. I just knew I had to tie my goat and tie it pretty fast. I did it.”

She believes it’s “a confidence-booster” as she begins the new high school season, which kicks off within two weeks in Stettler.

District 2 competitors are bound for the Stettler rodeo grounds for the junior high rodeo Aug. 23 and the high school rodeo Aug. 24 and Aug. 25.

It’s shaping up to be a quick season-to-season turnaround for the likes of Hiemstra, who wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Rodeo has kind of always been my sport,” she said. “My Mom and Dad both rodeoed, so I kind of grew up around it.”

Hiemsta has been active in rodeo since Grade 6 and competing on the high school circuit since Grade 9.

“I’ve been to Nationals in junior high rodeo, but this is my first time (going that far) in high school rodeo,” she said. “In Grade 8, I went to Gallup, New Mexico.”

DELBURNE’S SHANE PETERS KING OF BULL-RIDING: At the Canadian championships last month in Nanton, the Albertans took the overall team title and Delburne cowboy Shane Peters was the bull-riding champion. Peters swings back into action Saturday in the Foothills Cowboys’ Association rodeo at Didsbury.