The Cowboys have spoken.
For the second year in a row, the Hand Hills Lake Club has won the Rodeo Committee of the Year Award for small rodeos.
The Canadian Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA) Cowboys dedicate awards each year to the most deserving of volunteers across the circuit for small, medium, and large rodeos.
The Hand Hills Lake Stampede has a number of unique features including the popular array of pies that can be sold by the slice or as a whole.
“It’s something that’s been done at the rodeo forever and I guess they don’t do it anywhere else,” began Hand Hills Lake Club President Layton Rosin. “The cowboys come here and they got to hit another rodeo and one guy will buy two pies to make it to the next rodeo.”
It’s relaxed nature surrounding rules also makes the rodeo attractive to competitors and visitors alike.
Since volunteer numbers have been dwindling over the years, it has been harder to stay on top of everything unlike the larger rodeos where things must be done in a strict manner.
“It’s not a free for all by any means but, you know, a lot of this stuff we got to let slide unlike the bigger rodeos where everything has to have a nook and cranny where it needs to fit that you can’t go here,” said Rosin.
“We try not to worry about that as much and I think the cowboys kind of like that. You come in quick, we make room for you, we try not to turn you out and if you want that day we can try to give it to you.
“It’s more about if that’s what they want and they are trying to get here that’s okay. If we got to run 80 barrel racers in one day that’s fine. That’s Hand Hills.”
Last year’s award was announced at the annual Hanna Pro Rodeo but the CPRA was busy putting the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) together as they moved from Edmonton to Red Deer so this year’s award was announced at the CFR.
Having won for a second time, the club feels more confident in their abilities to host a great rodeo weekend.
“The cowboys vote on the award but we kind of felt like since we had got to 100 years and it didn’t get recognized a whole lot.
“To win a second year I think it actually means more because it wasn’t just a flash in the pan or a one time thing,” said Rosin. “People like what we are doing and appreciate it and that means more than everything.”
“At the end of the day, it is nice for Hand Hills.” Volunteers are always needed as well. “We don’t turn anybody away,” he said.
In 2019, the annual Hand Hills Lake Stampede will take place from May 31 to June 2.