2nd Gymkhana Rodeo Event Attracts Large Crowd

2nd Gymkhana Rodeo Event Attracts Large Crowd

Casen Ordeman of Rock Springs was the 6 and under barrel race winner at the second Gymkhana barrel racing and pole bending rodeo. SweetwaterNOW photo by Paul Murray

ROCK SPRINGS — The second Gymkhana barrel racing and pole bending rodeo of the season on Saturday, October 24 attracted an unusually large crowd to the Sweetwater Events Complex. Some of the age category competitions had as many as 30 contestants.

“It’s the Coronavirus. People wanted to get out of the house,” event organizer Susan Nichols said.

The day started with the youngest participants, toddler- and kindergarten-age girls and boys riding
horses through a series of poles while their parents held the reins and guided them around the Events
Complex Indoor Arena course. No scores were kept for this first event.

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“They’re all winners,” Nichols said regarding the smallest Gymkhana participants.

The barrel racing and pole bending competitions were divided up among different age categories,
beginning with the 6 and under group, then ages 7-9, 10-13, 14-17, 18-39 and 40 and over. Most of the
contestants were girls and women, with a few boys and men mixed in.

Nichols posted the final results and times on Tuesday. The Saturday competition ended with a special
event, a “Mountain Cowhorse” challenge, not a regular rodeo event, among the different age groups.
The overall fastest barrel racing time was posted by Louise Kennedy of Lonetree, near Mountain View,
with a time of 16.320 seconds on her horse, “Rookie”.

The overall fasted pole bending time was turned in by 16-year-old DeEtte Powell of Lyman, at 22.440 seconds on her mount. Nine-year-old Oaklee Hoffman of Mountain View wasn’t far behind on her horse “Sparky”, with a posted time of 22.701 seconds. In both barrel racing and pole bending, thousandths of a second can determine the different placings.

In pole bending, a less well-known rodeo event than barrel racing, contestants have to navigate their
mounts around a series of six red-and-white striped poles, each 21 feet apart, with the first pole 21 feet
away from the starting position. Contestants in pole bending can usually only gallop their mounts in the
running starts and finishes.

Success in both barrel racing and pole bending does not come overnight and depends upon the rider’s
skill in training and guiding her mount. When asked how long it takes to train a barrel racer horse, the
age 14-17 category winner, Aubrey Reger, spent several seconds thinking about the question before
answering, “It took about a year to train my horse.”

The younger contestants at the event are looking forward to future rodeo competitions and the fun they
will have. After winning her pole bending event, 10-year-old Tracie Westerberg was told she will
probably win a lot of events in the future and she responded with a big smile and declared, “I think so!”

A “Gymkhana” features horse races in different events. There are a series of six Gymkhanas at the
Sweetwater Events Complex, one each month through next March. An awards banquet in March 2021
will cap off the competitions.

Barrel Racing

6 and under
Note: All listings for all ages and events are in order of 1-2-3-4-5-6
Casen Ordeman 42.975
Wes Wegener 54.159
Kyle Carpenter 54.739
Cooper Johnson 73.169
Hawkins Hoffman 81.341
Zion Simkin 91.074

Ages 7-9
Oaklee Hoffman 16.664
Oaklee Hoffman (2nd horse) 17.688
Kennedy Kleinlein 23.555
Chase Westerberg 23.909
Andrew DeGrassi 24.107
Raygon Peterson 24.748

Ages 10-13
Sage Cooley 16.722
Bryndalyn Abbott 18.167
Kendra Huntington 18.742
Tracie Westerberg 20.857
Charley Potter 21.218
Stone Hooten 21.983

Age 14-17
Aubrey Reger 16.602
DeEtte Powell 16.743
Chanel Johnson 17.005
Jaydyn Mortensen 17.034
Shelby Ames 17.369
Makenzi Scott 17.995

Age 18-39
Taylor Allen 16.533
Kaitlyn Duran 17.266
Megan Matsura 17.331
Shailee Martin 17.562
Sandra Johnson 17.992
Megan Matsura 18.036

Age 40+
Louise Kennedy 16.320
Mishell Howard 16.652
Brandy Clemens 16.745
Wendy Pratt 17.743
Chris Thomas 18.390
Brenda Douglas 18.648

Pole bending/ 6 & under
Wes Wegener 56.990
Kyle Carpenter 59.187
Casen Ordeman 67.996
Bo Paulsen 118.935
Zion Simkin 123.406
Hagen Norris 134.932

Age 7-9
Oaklee Hoffman 22.701
Chase Westerberg 26.551
Izabelle Pedri 36.070
Aspen Cuthbertson 39.442
Kennedy Kleinlein 41.477
Eberlee Okarma 43.110

Age 10-13
Tracie Westerberg 23.942
Sage Cooley 24.724
Sterling Befus 27.352
Bryndalynn Abbott 31.228
Charley Potter 31.449
Kendra Huntington 32.410

Age 14-17
DeEtte Powell 22.440
Aubrey Reger 23.333
Jaydyn Mortensen 23.459
Shelby Ames 24.022
Chanel Johnson 24.699
Makinsy Huntington 25.021

Age 18-39
Samantha Hakula 25.028
Shailee Martin 25.493
Kaitlyn Duran 25.769
Emily Anderson 26.413
Savannah Helmstag 26.509
Kimberley Foran 27.360

Age 40+
Kelly Westerberg 24.306
Chris Thomas 24.872
Wendy Pratt 24.959
Brenda Douglas 26.027
Dori Fritz 26.473
Anna Terri 28.967

Mountain Cowhorse winners 6 and under
Kyle Carpenter 25.974

7-9
Chase Westerberg 10.470

10-13
Sage Cooley 10.225

14-17
Zoey Robinson 9.679

18-39
Megan Matsura 9.227

40+
Wendy Pratt 9.739