July 17th, 2024

Area kids learning the ropes at tie-down clinic

By Tim Kalinowski on July 11, 2017.

Rhett Erickson takes his turn at the practice dummy during the Shortgrass Rodeo Club's tie-down roping clinic in Kin Coulee Park on Monday.--NEWS PHOTO TIM KALINOWSKI


Kin Coulee Park was turned into an impromptu roping arena Monday as 40 participants between the ages of six and 14 took part in the annual Shortgrass Rodeo Club tie-down calf-roping clinic. An equal number of boys and girls are participating in the clinic, which will conclude Tuesday afternoon with a competition at about 2 p.m.

Held under the attentive eye of former Canadian calf-roping champion Joe Lucas, the clinic is focused on helping young ropers learn the fundamentals of good roping and tying techniques.

“It makes me feel really good if I can get some results out of these kids,” said Lucas. “I feel I am making a contribution to the next generation of the sport.”

Lucas said the kids taking part in the clinic come to him with different levels of skill and ability, and it is his job to hone in on each individual to see where he can help them improve.

“Some of them have parents who have showed them some roping, and got them on the right track. Other ones are plain beginners and they need to know all the basics. There is a lot of variables in roping. It seems the person who wins most of the roping competitions is the one who takes care of more of the variables.”

Participant Paige Tully said she came out to the clinic because she simply loves her chosen sport.

“I came out today because I love to rope. I am always interested in learning new things.”

Cade James, on the other hand, hoped to clinic would help him advance to the next level of his learning.

“I want to become a better roper and I think Joe can do that for me, and teach me,” he said. “It gives me a lot of confidence for when I get older. It makes me think one day I can be as good as him if I practice enough.”

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