Festival Western De St. Tite

by Rodeo News
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Meet the Member The Rodeo News

An event that is uncommon in America but a favorite of rodeo in Quebec; the exchange race – BIRTZ Photographie

story by Lindsay Welchel

The energy was palpable in the tiny remote town of St. Tite, Quebec, which was bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands of rodeo fans and Festival Western de St. Tite attendees. The iconic stadium which houses the arena was filled to the brim with people, and the roar of the crowd was a thunder all its own on Sunday at the championship round that concluded the 10-day rodeo event.
Shawn Minor and Brian Leddy kicked things off in the bareback riding to split the win with 81-point scores. Minor, a rodeo legend much loved by the fans in Canada, announced this weekend, his retirement from competing at St. Tite in the future in order to slow down and spend time with his family back home in America.
Hadley Deshazo, from Arkansas, has been having a good year in the International Professional Rodeo Association, and St. Tite would be no different with his winning 8.2 second run in the tie-down roping.
Two events that are uncommon in America but a favorite of rodeo in Quebec; the pick up race and the exchange race, were dominated by the team of Kevin Montmarquette and Marc-Olivier Boudreau. They took the championship in both on Sunday. This marks their first year together as a team.
“It’s dangerous. We never know what’s going to happen, and it’s teamwork. I can do good sometimes, and he can do bad sometimes and vice versa,” Marc explains of the challenges of their chosen sport.
But the rewards are plenty he and Kevin agree.
“The adrenaline, the accomplishment of what we are doing with the teamwork with the horses,” Kevin cites as his favorite part. Marc echoes this with the feeling you get when the gun goes off signaling a good run, a sound effect that is tradition in St. Tite.
Dustin Flundra took the championship in the saddle bronc riding with an 80-point ride on Hampton Rodeo Company’s Drama Queen, and Canadian barrel racer, Cindy Cloutier won her event with a 16.552-second run in the barrel racing. Canadians would continue to take the wins with Tyler Foster from Ontario winning in steer wrestling and Landon Lockhart of Manitoba clinching the bull riding title with his 86.5 score.
“I rode both my bulls in the long round. I wasn’t real high on them, but I knew the short round would have a bunch of good bulls in it, and I drew a pretty good one. I like the bulls away from my hand, and it worked out pretty good,” Landon says. It was his first time to compete at the storied St. Tite rodeo, and it’s an experience like no other he assures.
“I’ve never been to anywhere like this. This is pretty wild,” he says.
And that’s just what the festival and the rodeo’s production company, Wildtime Production is after for fans and contestants, their name says it all.

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