Hailee Williams will be kicking up her feet, rather than the dirt, at this year’s Canadian Western Agribition.
The 2010 Canadian Cowboys Association Junior Girls Barrel Racing Champion will watch the rodeo from the stands this year, after missing the qualification round by a slight margin.
“This year I didn’t ride that much. I didn’t have my priorities straight,” said Williams. “I wasn’t really that interested in barrel racing, but when the end of the year came I realized I didn’t make the finals and realized I needed to take this a bit more seriously.”
The Grade 11 student confessed she devoted more time to volleyball and other activities rather than riding, causing her to miss the opportunity
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At the 2010 Agribition, Williams participated in the CCA Finals as a fourth place entry. She participated in Junior Barrel Racing over a five day period, winning three of five performances.
Williams tied for the CCA Finals, and in the last performance won the title, breaking the 14-second marker, scoring 13.8 seconds.
“It was awesome last year and I love competing against the girls,” said the Glenavon native. “There’s so many people there to watch you, to see what you can do and to see what you work for all year.”
Agribition 2010 was her rookie year, although Willimas began barrel racing in high school rodeo in Grade 6, and like many competitors, rode horses as a child.
Williams participated in the 2011-12 season opener rodeo in Yorkton earlier this month, placing first in Ladies Barrel Racing. She says the victory was enough to motivate her to get back on the horse.
“I’m leading the ladies going into the next season,” she said, adding she’s recommitted herself to rodeo. “I have to ride my horse all the time. I need to keep him in shape. I’m quitting my job to rodeo and I’m dropping a lot of things that I like to do.”
As a spectator rather than competitor this year, Williams has toured schools throughout Regina promoting Agribition, the CCAs and High School Rodeo.
She says rodeo “isn’t just for farm people”, and that there’s lots to see and do.
“You can expect a lot of fun. It’s pretty big and a lot of people come out.”
Attendees can learn about machinery, purchase souvenirs, food, and farming tools. A show barn with cattle and sheep is also on display, along with vendors and wagon races. The rodeo includes bull riding, junior barrels, ladies barrels, junior steer riding, bronc riding- saddle and bareback, calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling.
Agribition 2011 will be held Nov. 21-26 at the Evraz Place in Regina.