Passed down through generations, rodeo has been in two Manitoba families — Cochrane and Boyes for quite some time.
Presently competing as a high school rookie in the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA), Jenel Boyes, a student at Hartney School, has been in the saddle since she was two and barrel racing since the age of four.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, Rachelle and Terry Boyes of Deleau, the Grade 9 student began with MHSRA in 2011.
“One of the reasons I joined the MHSRA was because my mom competed in Saskatchewan and my grandpa and grandma, Art and Marilyn Cochrane of Onanole, enjoyed it so much that they helped start up high school rodeo in Manitoba, said Boyes. “My grandpa is still volunteering 20 years later, serving as president and the national director.”
Boyes says team roping is her favourite event because it’s fun but challenging, and adds the best part is being able to work with one of her closest friends as a roping partner.
“Friendship plays an important role in the sport of rodeo, as does comradeship, grit, determination and patience,” said Boyes. “The western lifestyle keeps me on my toes and ready for my next challenge including keeping my grades up.
“The MHSRA is like the beginning of a long, long road that’s filled with valuable, fun and serious lessons. There aren’t enough words to describe how the MHSRA will help you get where you want to go and have a great time getting there,” said Boyes. “I’ve competed at Canadians every year, the first year in just pole bending and barrel racing at Virden. The second in poles, barrels, breakaway and ribbon roping and last year I competed in all six junior events in Alberta. I’ve qualified for Nationals every year, but I have only represented Manitoba once in the 2013-14 season. I qualified and competed in all six junior girls events at Des Moines, Iowa, and I hope to qualify again this year and be a part of Team Manitoba.”
Both of Boyes’ parents competed at the semi-pro level and her mom even went pro for a couple of years, making it to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. “My parents have helped me train and be a better competitor, but my grandpa and his devotion to rodeo and helping others has been my biggest inspiration. I want to make people proud and prove the doubters wrong, I’ll stop at nothing less,” said Boyes. “Being involved in rodeo has helped me a lot, it has improved my balance, hand-eye co-ordination, and carrying all those oat pails, square bales and water buckets has made moving what used to be too heavy things a lot easier.” Boyes and her family live near Deleau, and she attends the K to 12 school in Hartney. When not riding or roping she plays hockey and baseball. Upon graduating in 2018 she would like to take equine sciences or a farrier’s course. She is also hoping to continue her rodeo journey, maybe college rodeo and then professional.