Jace Thorsteinson in a tie down roping event at Rocky Mountain House last fall

Jace Thorsteinson in a tie down roping event at Rocky Mountain House last fall

Stettler rodeo kids off to nationals in U.S.

A group of kids from Stettler and surrounding areas have qualified for the national junior rodeo association finals in Iowa.

A group of kids from Stettler and surrounding towns have qualified for the national junior rodeo association finals rodeo in the United States.

The rodeo runs from June 21 to June 27 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for the kids,” said Patti Cooper, junior secretary for the Alberta High School Rodeo Association.

This is Jace Thorsteinson’s second year going to the national rodeo. He qualified for calf roping, ribbon roping and goat tying.

He has been competing in rodeo events for three years now and is looking forward to the competition south of the border.

“It’s a lot different than rodeos up here, because the competition is a lot harder,” said Thorsteinson, 13. “It makes me a better roper to try to push myself to rope against the best.”

He said his goal going down to the rodeo is to be a national champion.

Mikenna Schauer, 13, from Botha, also went to the rodeo last year, where she qualified for breakaway roping. This year, she qualified for barrel racing, goat tying and ribbon roping.

“It’s pretty fun to know that I made it into more than one event,” said Schauer. “I just really like the experience of going there.”

It will be everyone else from the area’s first time going to this rodeo.

In Alberta, 32 junior high kids qualified for the national rodeo, 9 of which are from this area.

The other qualifiers are: Tori Brower from Gadsby, Beau Cooper from Stettler, Randon Ross from Botha, Chase Skocdopole from Big Valley, JD Thorsteinson from Botha, Taiga Thorsteinson from Stettler and Hayden Warren from Big Valley.