Once again the stands of the Lakota Centre were filled to the brim with family, friends and fans of local riders who took part in this year’s Christmas Extravaganza on the weekend.
The annual event, now five years running, is a showcase of the youth that put good use to the centre day in and day out.
Cowboys and cowgirls – some as young as three-years old – display their talents in front of hundreds that attend the show every holiday season.
The show features every discipline practiced at Lakota including barrel racing, pole bending, dummy roping, jumping, reining and cutting. And of course there is the Lakota Drill Team, which again put on a spectacular performance, bringing the crowd to its feet.
“The girls rode it flawlessly,” said Drill Team coach Christine Painter who has been heading the squad ever since the Extravaganza began five years ago.
“Some of the fans I spoke with said it was the best choreography they had seen.”
The Drill Team, made up of selected riders from various disciplines, perform a nerve-wrenching synchronized routine at top speed. This year’s roster included Lauryn Davis, Aleeza and Kienna Defelice, Sierra Jones, Annisa and Tommi-Sue Little, Emma Lee, Meagan McClarty, Sarah Pringle and Shelby Soucy.
The show and the Drill Team got its start when Painter – a local riding coach – was “messing around” with some of her students during a break from instruction. The kids enjoyed it so much that Painter says she decided to form a team every year and base a show around the group. The team is now a mainstay of the show’s program, and is a goal many of the young riders strive to be a part of.
“Lots of the young ones running around here look forward to doing this themselves. They tell me they can’t wait to be a part of it [the Drill Team] and that’s great to see, it goes to show the interest this event has generated,” said Painter. “We are so lucky to have this facility, and all the people that help run it.”