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Women largely staying out of dangerous rodeo events: coach

Break-away roping proving to be an attractive event for women and men
MVT Rodeo Kelley-1
Olds College rodeo team head coach Guy Kelley. Doug Collie/MVP Staff

OLDS — More women are competing at the top level in sports like hockey, basketball and football, but Olds College rodeo head coach Guy Kelley doesn’t anticipate that happening much in his sport.

He says there are lots of rodeo events for women to compete in, so he sees few of them getting into really dangerous ones like bull riding.

Kelley says the fastest growing event in rodeo for women — and men — is break-away roping.

In that event, a rope is tied to an animal, usually a calf, and the rider tries to lasso it as the animal charges out of the chute.

Other rodeo events that women and girls compete in include barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying.

During an interview, Kelley was asked if women are getting into more dangerous rodeo events like bull riding, bronc riding or steer wrestling.

"Not so much. There is some,” he said, noting many participate through the Canadian Girls Rodeo Association.

But he said break-away roping is proving to be attractive.

“It’s another event for girls, right? Because you know once you get into the pros, the only event the girls can compete in is barrel racing,” he said.

“So now the girls can compete in break-away roping and it’s another timed event. It’s quick, but it’s also – the calf gets away.”