Dawson Salekin won the hopper race at the first annual Fernie Kids Rodeo, last weekend. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

First annual Kids Rodeo a hit

From riding horses to participating in three legged races, children and adults alike were able to let loose and enjoy the ranch lifestyle on the weekend at the first annual Kids Rodeo.

Jen Kennedy bought her father’s property on Dicken Road three years ago and on Saturday fulfilled one of her dreams of bringing the ranch lifestyle back into the lives of children around the Valley.

As a member of the Snow Valley Wranglers, Kennedy jumped at the idea of hosting a rodeo for children as a way of raising funds for the club.

“It’s a great turnout and we’re loving it,” said Kennedy.

She admitted she didn’t know how the turnout would be this year, but was pleasantly surprised at the popularity of the event.

The Kids Rodeo consisted of horseback riding, mutton bustin’ (sheep riding), a bouncy castle, three legged races, a doughnut eating contest, live music, and a barbecue.

This event also served as a fundraiser for the rebuilding of a backcountry cabin, which both Snow Valley Wranglers and Fernie Snowmobile Association are collaborating on.

Kennedy explained that events such as these bring the ranching lifestyle back to the younger generations.

She admitted that most members of the Snow Valley Wranglers are older, so this was a great opportunity to show the younger generation how they had fun growing up.

“Once you fall in love with horses, there’s really no going back,” said Kennedy.

“That’s just the honest truth. And if it gets in their blood when they’re little, they’ll have the bug.

“This is my dream job… I can’t think of anything better than to have my kids living the ranch life. Access to the animals and learning compassion, empathy, and doctoring. It all goes hand in hand and it’s just so satisfying.”


Corbin Stefano battles it out with a treat that refused to be eaten in the doughnut eating competition at the Kids Rodeo, last weekend. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Youth try to retrieve a flag tied to a sheep during the Kids Rodeo, last weekend. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

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