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Mabel-Canton’s Justin Ward Saddles 26th Place in National Competition


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in Canton Agriculture

Justin Ward of Mabel, Minn. took 26th place nationally at the National High School Finals Rodeo steer wrestling competition held July 14-20 in Rock Spring, Wyo. Photo submitted

By Mitchell Walbridge

If you didn’t get enough of the rodeo or bull riding at the Fillmore County Fair a few weeks ago, you could probably talk to Mabel-Canton High School senior Justin Ward, the son of Doug and Traci Ward. Ward has been participating in rodeos since third grade, and recently he has saddled some pretty high honors for his years of dedication.

Beginning his rodeo days in elementary school, Ward was part of the Little Britches of Wisconsin Rodeo Association, a non-profit organization that carries the goal of helping children reach their goals, develop their skills and promote good sportsmanship in rodeo. It didn’t take long for Ward to advance to the Wisconsin Junior High Rodeo in sixth grade. Now he is in his fourth year in the High School Rodeo.

The years of experience have definitely paid off, seeing as Ward has won the Wisconsin High School Rodeo champion steer wrestling buckle and saddle during the month of June. The competition was held in Richland Center, Wis.

Because of the win Ward advanced as one of the top four to the Rock Spring, Wyoming National High School Finals Rodeo. Overall, Ward was able to secure 26th place out of 120 participants in the steer wrestling national competition, all of which were competing for the title of national champion. Ward scored times of 6.18 seconds on one run, while scoring 9.52 on another, giving him a final score of 15.70 seconds on two head, which turned out to qualify for 26th place.

“Justin really enjoys the adrenaline rush of jumping off of a horse at 25 miles-per-hour,” said Ward’s mother, Traci.

Preparing for such invigorating events and intense competition is no easy task. In order to prepare Ward practices chute dogging, practicing on a mechanical steer and also does runs on live cattle.

This year’s national finals rodeo consisted of 1,500 competitors from all over the United States, Canada and Australia. They were held July 14-20, 2013. Next year, the national high school finals will once again be held in Rock Spring, Wyo. July 13-19, 2014.

Collapsed manure pit creates water safety concerns

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Apr 19th, 2013
Posted in Canton Agriculture

Late on the evening of Sunday, April 14 a manure spill was reported in Fillmore County near the rural community of Canton. Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. the caller had reported that a fractured wall of an above-ground manure pit had collapsed, releasi ..... 
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