In spite of the long weekend, the turnout was impressive at the Stettler gymkhana, hosted at Stettler Agriplex on Sunday, Aug. 2, with a lot of young riders and some first-timers.
Being held for the second year, the gymkhana is ideal ground for beginners and novice riders to get some experience and encouragement as they continue to pursue the sport.
Organized by Tammy Hronek and Kelsey Bignell, the gymkhana is supported by the rodeo community in and around Stettler.
“This is our second year of doing the gymkhana, but we could never put them on without all the help from our families and friends and parents of the kids who come to compete!” said Hronek. “We have some of the best volunteers, who provide assistance in setting up events, taking entries, doing payout, running the gate and even finding sponsors for year-end prizes.”
Averaging around 40 competitors at each gymkhana is not a bad feat given the diverse age group to which competitors belong.
There are five age groups in each event – six and under, seven to 10, 11-18, 19-49 and 50 and above.
According to Hronek, the gymkhana is the perfect place for people who are just learning to ride, or people training young horses, or who just want to come out and have a super fun day.
The gymkhana starts with pole bending, followed by stake race, flag race, thread the needle, finally ending with the barrel race.
There are four gymkhanas throughout summer, with the finals being held on Sept. 12, where the high point champions will receive their prizes.
After Sunday’s scores had been tallied, the leaders, runners-up and third place holders in the various age categories are as follows:
In the age group six and under, leading the chart is Kayla Hronek, followed by Luke Hronek, and Kayl Hankins.
Skylar Hymers has the top score for the age group seven to 10, followed by Bret Hymers and Morgan Kiemele.
Lexa Bergstrom leads the 11-18 year category, ahead of Emily Wright, followed by Rachael Deaver
In the 19-49 year category, Jayme Bolin is the top scorer, followed by Tammy Hronek and Kelsey Bignell.
And finally in the 50 and above age category, Elva McAllister leads, followed by Bonnie Kobi and Joe Lee.