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Young local riders compete in hometown at Airdrie Pro Rodeo

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 02:48 pm

Airdrie's Allen Fletcher wrestled for control of his ride during the novice bareback riding event at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo on July 1.
Airdrie's Allen Fletcher wrestled for control of his ride during the novice bareback riding event at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo on July 1.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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Trying to navigate your way through the rodeo ranks as a youngster can be stressful enough.

But add in the fact that you’re competing in your hometown event, and the butterflies in your stomach can become even bigger, as Airdrie’s Allen Fletcher discovered in the lead-up to his ride in the novice bareback riding event at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo on July 1.

“I’ve done the wild pony race event at the intermission in the past, but this was the first time that I’ve competed in this event here in my two years of being a bareback rider,” Fletcher said.

“When you have your friends, family, and a ton of people that are from your hometown watching you ride, that puts a little bit of pressure on you,” he added.

“You just have to work through it though, and you have to put those nerves in the back of your mind as you are riding.”

The 20-year-old Fletcher, who rides in the winter with the Olds College rodeo team, was in his first event of the season after missing the last couple months with a right-hand injury and was able to ride the whole eight seconds to finish with a score of 60 points.

“Being out of action for the last couple of months has been a bit disappointing, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do out there,” Fletcher said.

“Given how long it has been since I was able to ride in an event, I felt like my score was pretty fair in the grand scheme of things.”

“I have the Calgary Stampede coming up here in a few days, so I’m excited about getting back going again,” he added. “This is what I love to do the most and I feel even better about being in events after being out with that injury.”

Another junior competitor from Airdrie didn’t have quite as much fun as he was bucked off his eight-second ride on June 29 during the boys’ steer riding event on June 29.

“I was on one of the best cows of the night,” Berreth recalled. “It was hard to ride, and while I got tossed around pretty good, it was still a lot of fun.”

Berreth, who has been riding for the last five years, is also coming off of an injury as he broke his right leg this winter when he got it stuck in a fence.

While he’s still getting back up to speed, Berreth was excited about competing in his home event.

“I’ve been here a couple of times now, and just really happy about being to compete in front of everyone,” Berreth said.

“When you get to ride here and then see the bull riders compete, it gives you that motivation to get better so you can be like them one day.”


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