JULIE BERTRAND/Independent reporter
Quinton Van Straten might look like your typical middle school student but give him a rope and a calf and he’ll soon convince you otherwise.
He walked away from the Alberta High School Rodeo junior division finals, which took place in Nanton from May 13 to 15, as the provincial champion in tie-down roping, boys goat tying, and chute dogging.
He was also the Boys High Point Champion. In total, he won 10 buckles and a saddle at the event.
“Chute dogging is an event I grew up doing,” said Van Straten.
“My dad is a steer and calf roper so it’s a family thing.”
His coaches and trainers are Dale Butterwick, Darren Zeiffle, and Murray Pole, all luminaries of the rodeo scene.
“Every night, I practice,” said Van Straten.
“Roping calves is a little bit different because you can rope the dummy just to practice, but on a horse, I practice usually two or three times a week. “
While high school rodeo season is over, Van Straten still has two competitions left.
He will be at the National Junior High Finals, which will take place in Gallup, New Mexico from June 26 to July 2, and at the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals, which will be in Virden, Manitoba from August 5 to 7.
Van Straten will be competing in New Mexico in tie-down roping, chute dogging, boys goat tying and ribbon roping.
In Manitoba, he will be competing in the above events plus team roping.
“In Vernon, I would like to do well. I have a shot at placing either in the top 10 or possibly winning the Canadian title,” said Van Straten.
“New Mexico is a little bit different. It’s for the whole world. If I could place in the top 10 or do well, I’d be happy.”