Starting at noon on the east end of Blairmore, riders for the annual Kananaskis Rodeo Association (KRA) Badge Ride were out on Friday, April 14 with volunteers following on foot, in a side-by-side and a truck. Nick Allen photo.
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Apr 19, 2023
Annual Badge Ride helps bring awareness for the upcoming rodeo at the end of the month.
For the annual Kananaskis Rodeo Association’s KRA Badge Ride, the riders were out on Friday, April 14 in downtown Blairmore. The event started at noon at the east end of Blairmore.
Residents were able to purchase a KRA Sheriff’s Badge for $2 for a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. KRA president Joe Trotz explained the purpose of the Badge Ride which has been going for over 20 years.
“The Badge Ride is just something to kind of bring awareness to the people in town, with the rodeo being on within a couple of weeks and that’s kind of a little bit of a fundraiser,” said Trotz.
He said getting volunteers for the event was easy, with some of them having the time off school to participate. There were three riders going down the street with a side-by-side following to clean up any mess left by the horses.
“The horses don’t care where they go,” joked Trotz.
Bringing up the rear was a truck with their hazards on to help warn approaching drivers. Rounding out the team of volunteers were the people on foot going from store to store with the badges for sale. Proceeds from the badges go towards running the KRA and helping with the upcoming rodeo on April 28 to 30.
Trotz explained they have some “really good contestants” with over 330 entries into the competition.
“We got a really good turnout of professional cowboys from Canada and the US. It’s going to be a really good rodeo,” said Trotz.
On Friday, April 28, the women will be doing Saddle bronc riding as part of their own association. It is not a pro-sanctioned event but is something they host between other rodeo events.
Contestants for the rest of the rodeo will be competing in bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, barrel racing, saddle bronc, team roping and bull riding.
At 10 p.m. on April 28, there will be a KRA Social at the Curling Club Lounge which is for those 18 and older only.
Saturday, April 29 will feature a free pancake breakfast hosted by the Coleman Lions at 9:30 a.m. At 10 a.m. the junior/senior rodeo will be underway and 6 p.m. will be the pro rodeo performance. At 8 p.m. doors open for the KRA Cabaret with a mechanical bull being available. On Sunday, April 30 there will be a pro rodeo performance at 2 p.m.
“It’s a full slate. It’s great family entertainment,” said Trotz.
It should be a return to normal after they missed the last couple of years because of COVID-19. This event marks the 39th year of putting on the rodeo, with the association starting in 1983, according to Trotz.
Visit kraprorodeo.com for more information or to get tickets for the upcoming rodeo at the Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex from April 28 to 30.