Video – Local Student Wins Two Provincial Titles in Ontario Junior High School Rodeo

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A Local Middle School Student has Won Two Provincial Titles in the Ontario Junior High School Rodeo

It’s the first time twelve-year-old Leigh Bray from Hamilton Township has entered the Ontario Junior High School Rodeo (OJHSR) and came away with two first place Championships in the barrel racing and the pole bending competitions.

The grade seven student told Today’s Northumberland that her family has had Finn, who is a twenty-one-years-old Quarter horse for two years.

She’s been riding as long as she can remember and loves it.

“It keeps me busy.”

With having any type of animal dog or horse, Leigh knows the work involved into feeding them, and in this case riding them.

The OHSRA stresses the importance of education and sportsmanship by teaching life skills such as leadership, responsibility, dedication, and commitment.

As support and continuing education is high priority to the Ontario High School Rodeo Association, which offers scholarships to successful applicants and encourages youth to strive for excellence both in and out of the rodeo arena.

The Ontario High School Rodeo Association’s mission is to promote the positive image of rodeo, preserve the western heritage and maintain the highest regard for the livestock.

While many other students her age might be playing on their phones, Leigh trains regularly at her team barn PGF Equine in Castleton where she is coached by Cierra Boniface; and on the family farm just north of Cobourg. Her younger sisters hope to join in her footsteps of competing.

“In the barrels me and Finn did good, but other kids were beating us, but in the poles we had some pretty good times.”

Points are given for the quickest times for each stage over the 10 rodeos held throughout the season and in the end Leigh and Finn came in first for both events with the most points.

“It was fun.”

One of the requirements for the rodeo is keeping up good grades – if you don’t, you can’t compete.

Her parents, Amanda and Kevin are extremely proud of their daughter and the way the Association cares about grades as much as the competition.

“They have to maintain a 70% school average,” said Kevin.

“If they don’t maintain that then they are not allowed to compete.”

“It’s not just going and competing in rodeo, they want to instill values into these kids.”

The rodeos take place from October-May, throughout southern Ontario and Kevin said watching her compete is fun.

“I really enjoy going out watching them and the practice at home is just as much apart of it.”

“It’s a family thing and my middle age daughter is coming up through it as well she will be entering the junior division next year and our youngest who practices on our pony is in the Little Buckaroos division.”

“We’re very proud of her.”

Leigh qualified for the National Finals in Des Moines, Iowa but decided not to attend and is hoping to qualify again next year.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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