The second time was the charm for the gymkhana event, as another round of rain could have cancelled it entirely for the year.
However, the rains stayed away for the weekend of July 9-10, and 42 people from around Alberta and B.C. participated.
The event was held at the Smoky River Agricultural Society’s fairgrounds by Donnelly. Jean-Marc Roussin, one of the organizers, is pleased.
“It was a good turnout,” says Roussin. “Everyone enjoyed their trip to this event and we want to keep it going every year.”
The event consists of barrel racing, stakes, poles, keyhole and flags.
The first place winners for each category received a horse blanket. They were: Sandy Steeves, the seniors’ winner with 672 points; Byron Weedrick, men’s winner with 637 points; Kim Hummel, the women’s winner with 728 points; Alexis Sarauer, the ladies’ winner with 701 points; Shelby Underwood, the intermediate winner with 647 points; Noah Hartu, the junior winner with 609 points; and Deryck Hickey, the pee wee winner with 170 points.
There was something new this year – double barrel racing. It was a non-competitive event. Five barrels were placed in the arena, three in the foreground and two at the other end of the arena. Two riders started and went around the first three barrels. Then they raced to their respective barrels at the other side and raced back to the start.
The Donnelly event is part of the provincial circuit, which comes under the Alberta Provincial Gymkhana Association.
Maggie Cartwright, in the pee wee category, and she finishes pole bending in 45.716 seconds.
Jodi Wright, in the women’s category, completes the barrel racing in a time of 17.207 seconds.
Gavin McIlwrich, a pee wee competitor, completes the barrel racing in a time of 25.646 seconds.
Erin Barber, in the ladies’ category, completing the flags event in 47.182 seconds.
Deryk Hickey, who competes in the pee wee class, completes the keyhole in a time of 12.821 seconds. The keyhole consists of a makred narrow strip at the bottom, with a wide circumference at the top. The rider must go through the narrow strip and turn around in the circumference and go back to the start without stepping outside the lines.
Cheyenne Grahame, in the pre-pee wee class, completes the keyhole in a time of 60.426 seconds.
Chelsea Webb, in the ladies’ category, completes the stakes in a time of 19.378 seconds.
Chelsea Arndt, who competes in the intermediate class, completes the pole bending in a time of 22.786 seconds.
Byron Weedrick, in the men’s category, completes the flags in a time of 32.888 seconds.
Alexis Sarauer, in the ladies’ category, completes the pole bending in a time of 22.288 seconds.