Ashern Rodeo draws competitors from far and wide

Saskatchewan resident Mallory Mayert competes in Ladies Barrel Racing at the 26th annual Ashern Rodeo. (Brook Jones/Interlake Spectator/Postmedia Network)

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The 26th annual Ashern Rodeo drew competitors from not only Manitoba, but also out of province.

The annual event featured barrel racing competitors from not only the local surrounding area, but also from Saskatchewan.

Brittany Forsyth, who grew up in Rivers, Man., but lives in Carnduff, Sask, competed in Ladies Barrel Racing on Sept. 2.

As a 15-year-old Forsyth found a passion for barrel racing after a friend introduced her to the sport.

“It’s definitely hard keeping the enjoyment and the sport separate and combined yet at the same time,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s important to always love the horse first and the sport second.”

This was Forsyth’s first time visiting Ashern and she noted how that each rodeo ground is not similar to another one.

“The set-ups are all different, the patters are all different and the ground conditions are all different,” she said. “That is something that we all look at.”

She told The Interlake Spectator that the rodeo grounds were a great set-up.

“There was lots of people who were interested in the sport and the horses,” she said. “I thought it was a great set-up.”

Keeping up with the rodeo schedule can make for a busy summer. Forsyth, who is a member of the Manitoba Rodeo and Cowboy Association and the Canadian Cowboy Association, said that she tries to eat health, eat her vitamins and drink lots of water.

“It’s crunch time for finals,” Forsyth said. “I am just happy to be out rodeoing.”

Mallory Mayert who is from Waldeck, Sask., also competed in Ladies Barrel Racing during both days of Saskatchewan.

This was Mayert’s second year in a row competing at the Ashern Rodeo.

“We definitely get to see a lot of different towns and sights and spend a lot of hours in the truck, but it’s all worth it in the end,” Mayert said. “I’m lucky that I get to do what I get to do and what ever happens, happens.”
What’s remarkable is that this is only her second year competing in barrel racing.

“It takes a while to get your nerves in check and in the end you’re lucky to do it,” she said.

The 28-year-old explained how the rodeo family is wonderful and very supportive and that everyone is here to help.

“We’re all here to support and cheer you on,” she told The Interlake Spectator.
The three day event was jammed packed with plenty of entertainment for the crowd. In additional to Ladies Barrel Racing, there was The Down Roping, Saddle Bronc, Junior Steer Ridding, Junior Girls Barrel Racing, Team Roping and Bull Riding.

The Ashern Rodeo had something for everyone, including the youngesters as they had the opportunity to try their luck with Mutton Busting, which drew plenty of cheers from the crowd.