Young Ranchman's Livestock Show adds to success of Ridin' and Recitin'

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This years Ranchman's Ridin' & Recitin' was steeped in tradition while attracting over 650 people to the annual event hosted by the Swift Current Ag and Ex.  

The event's newest addition, The Young Ranchman's All Breed Livestock Show, was the first of its kind in Southwest Saskatchewan.

Young Ranchman's, which is geared toward youths 21 and under, took organizers by surprise with 108 registrants from in and around Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and as far away as Utah. The Little Rancher program for children under eight years of age had 41 kids in that category alone.  

"When we first started this show we thought if we had 50 kids show up here, enter and come and take part in this show we were going to call it a success, a huge success," stated Mary-Kate Robertson one of the programs coordinators.

Those in the Young Ranchman's competed in numerous different categories including Show Team Judging, Public Speaking, Photography and Art, Grooming and Showmanship.  

"What we are trying to promote is to keep kids involved in agriculture," Robertson said.

Robertson discussed that with so many people now leaving the farm pursuing both agricultural and non-agricultural related careers that events such as this teach these kids invaluable lessons that they can incorporate into their future such as sales and marketing, team building, self confidence, professional business practices, and group interaction.  

The Show Team Judging began on Friday evening where the kids chose a team partner, and then at 8 a.m. Saturday morning those teams began judging animals according to their class. After qualifying, a trio of Junior teams and three Senior teams advanced to the final event that afternoon where one team member acted as the Ringman and the other the Judge. The final competitors were directed to come out into the ring dressed in 'something befitting of judge and a ringman' and the Judge had to get on the microphone and explain their classes.

With old fashioned style ranching as the main theme throughout the Ranchman's Ridin' & Recitin' these young kids were able to take what they do daily on their homesteads and bring that to a whole new level through competitions and mentoring, which allows them to broaden their knowledge and life skills in ways that will benefit them for years to come.  

A contributing factor to the success of the first year of the Young Ranchman's event here in Southwest Saskatchewan is that they have aligned themselves with the Bashaw Ag Society who hosts the National Young Cattleman's.  

"We have followed their protocol and so we are allowed to send four teams out, two Junior teams and two Senior teams to represent Saskatchewan," explained Robertson.

Those chosen will attend the Bashaw Young Cattleman's event in August 2014.

"I think we have to provide and educate our young people with proper facts and proper information about agriculture" said Robertson and believes that programs such as this will assist in keeping more of our future kids at home on our ranches and farms."

Young Ranchman's participants Tye Catley and Kodie Doetzu, both 14 years of age, paired up for the Show Team Judging competition and shared their excitement in being a part of this years programs.

"It is lots of fun and a good experience," Catley said. The two are part of the same 4H club though had not done team judging together before.  

With a multitude of events to choose from there really was something for everyone at this years event. The popular Heavy Horse competitions included three categories, Chore Team, Feed Scurry and Water Hauling which boasted its highest numbers with 11 teams this year. There was also strong interest in events ranging from stock dog trials, the Hooves and Feathers Sale, plus a cow-pen show. The evening wrapped up with a banquet followed by cowboy poetry and live music.

A noteable win this weekend was when 13 year old Marty Bertram from Climax took first place for the Feed Scurry competition coming out on top of his more mature competitors. Due to some heavy rains the arena was knee deep with mud, and along with good horsemanship, speed was the main factor in that this is a timed event.  

"It is nice to see a young fellow like that coming up," said Ray Vangen who oversaw the Heavy Horse events from inside the arena.

Due to the muddy conditions the Chore Team event had a few adjustments in order to ensure the safety of the contestants and the horses.

The following are the Young Ranchman's All Breed Livestock Show winners:

Supreme Champion Female with his Grand Champion Multi Breed Female: Chase Miller.

Reserve Supreme Champion Female with his Grand Champion Angus Female: Coy Gibson.

Senior Aggregate - Julia Pawlitza.

Intermediate Aggregate - Chase Miller.

Junior Aggregate- Jacey Massey.

PeeWee Aggregate - Georgia Pawlitza.

Senior Champion Show Team Judging - Chase Miller and Cody Lafrentz.

Reserve Senior Champion Show Team Judging - Julia Pawlitza and Cheyanne Catley.

Junior Champion Show Team Judging - Sadie Anwender and Garrett Liebreich.

Reserve Junior Champion Show Team Judging - Shane Hanel and Kyle Wall.

The participants that qualified to advance to the Canadian National Young Cattleman of the Year program are: Chase Miller and Cody Lafrentz in the senior age division, and Georgia Pawlitza and Sadie Anwender in the junior age division.

"I am going to go out on a limb and say we are going to have twice as many kids here next year," Mary-Kate Robertson said.

Other winners provided were:

Chore Team Winners: 1st place Chris Bertram, Climax; 2nd place Blaine Friesen, McMahon; 3rd place Kelly Ashdown, Swift Current.

Feed Scurry Race Winners: 1st place Marty Bertram, Climax; 2nd a  tie) Ed Livingston, Moose Jaw and Mandy Friesen, McMahon; 3rd place Jeremy Simpson, Kyle.

Water Race Winners: 1st place Jeremy Simpson, Kyle; 2nd Ed Livingston, Moose Jaw; 3rd Dwayne Cozart, Glentworth.

Organizations: Swift Current Ag and Ex

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta Utah Moose Jaw Swift Current

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