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Back in the saddle again

The 28th edition of the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo gets underway this weekend at the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds.  - Gerry Frederick Photo
The 28th edition of the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo gets underway this weekend at the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds.
— image credit: Gerry Frederick Photo

Taylor Rocca

The 28th Annual Cranbrook Professional Rodeo will kick up dust once again this weekend at Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds.

“It’s our 28th annual [rodeo], which we’re excited about,” said Cranbrook Professional Rodeo committee chair Dallas Mackie. “We have a very small committee and we work hard. It’s all done by volunteers.”

A regular stop on the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association circuit, the event will once again feature a selection of North America’s top rodeo athletes, including a trio of Canadian champions from the 2014 Calgary Stampede.

Scott Schiffner of Strathmore, Alta., took home the title of Calgary Stampede bull-riding champion, while Morgan Grant of Granton, Ont., earned the tie-down roping buckle. Pincher Creek’s Dustin Flundra rounded out the Canadian trio of champions by earning the saddle bronc championship. All three cowboys will be in attendance at Wycliffe.

More than 200 cowboys and cowgirls have registered in hopes of corralling a title this weekend. In addition to a strong Canadian contingent of athletes, rodeo fans will see riders from as far as Australia and New Zealand. All major rodeo events will be in action at Wycliffe, including bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.

Festivities get underway Friday, Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and continue Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. There will be an additional slack running Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

Saturday’s events will be a part of the rodeo’s ‘Support STARS’ initiative. A portion of the proceeds from the day will be donated to STARS Air Ambulance and the evening will be capped with a classic rodeo dance hosted at the Dave Henderson Pavilion on the exhibition grounds. The dance gets underway at 9:30 p.m. and features live entertainment courtesy of The Bookends.

Sunday is Children’s Day, with the proceedings getting underway at 2 p.m.

Trick rider Shelby Cummings will also perform over the course of the weekend as will liberty horse trainer Niki Flundra.

Tickets for adults are $20 at the gate or $18 in advance. Seniors and youth (11 to 16 years) can gain entry for $18 at the gate or in advance for $16. Children 10 and under are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at Alpine Toyota, Top Crop Farm and Hill Billy Hardwear.

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