Some of the McPherson County Fair's most attended attractions have always been the rodeos. Saturday and Sunday the fair will host the Central Kansas Youth Rodeo Association, this is their fourth summer in Canton—and this isn't just any old rodeo, this one is for the youth of Kansas.

"It's very family oriented," CKYRA Secretary Jen Graber said.

CKYRA was formed to promote rodeo participation starting right at the bottom, with kids.

"It's the basis for moving forward to competing in high school, college and as adults if they want," Graber explained.

In 2013 the Heartland Youth Rodeo decided not to continue their summer series. A new organization was formed—CKYRA.

The first season saw 48 members with an average of 150 entries a day. This year they grown to 108 members from all over, even other states like Oklahoma and Nebraska. They have also added numerous events such as bareback riding and saddle bronco on steers for grades five through eight.

Accommodating the large number of members is easier since rather than a traveling rodeo, the events are held at the Tom Miller Arena in Canton. So while it can be a distance to travel, it's always in one spot.

"It's such a great little town," Graber said. "We are so thankful for everything the people do and for Tom Miller Arena."

The association is aimed at kindergartners through the 12th grade, but does accept younger participants.

The rodeo season consists of 10 rodeos. To qualify for finals, participants must attend six rodeos, compete in the finals both days, and meet all the obligations.

"It's just like any other sport," Graber said. "It teaches the kids sportsmanship and good competition. It's no different than football or baseball."

More than anything CKYRA is about instilling values and teaching skills that kids can carry on with them into adulthood.

"They learn good competition, but it's very laid back. All the parents and board members are easy going," Graber said. "I want the kids to be good winners and good losers. I want them to learn that it's nice to win, but you don't always and that's OK."

For more information contact Jen Graber at 316-799-2466 or jen6oilvalleycattle@wildblue.net.

"It's wonderful to see the kids outside," Graber said. "It's good country life."

Contact Teri L. Hansen @ thansen@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @MacSentinel.

CKYR Schedule of Events

1 – Saddle Bronc Steers

5-8 Grade, 6 seconds

(Boys Only)

2 - Sheep Riding

1st Grade and Under (Boys and Girls)

3 - Calf Riding

2-4 Grade, 6 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

4 – Steer Riding

5-8 Grade, 6 seconds

(Boys Only)

5 – Bull Riding

9-12 Grade, 8 seconds

(Boys Only)

6 – Dummy Roping

1st Grade & Under (Boys and Girls)

7 – Bareback Steers

5-8 Grade, 6 seconds

(Boys Only)

8 – Chute Dogging

9-12 Grade, 30 seconds

(Boys Only)

9 – Breakaway Sled Roping

2-4 Grade, 30 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

10 – Breakaway Calf Roping

2-4 Grade, Closed Gate 60 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

5-8 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

9-12 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Girls Only)

11 – Ribbon Roping

5-8 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boy and Girl Teams)

9-12 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boy and Girl Teams)

12 — Tie Down Sled Roping

5-8 Grade, 45 seconds

(Boys Only)

13 – Tie Down Calf Roping

5-8 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boys Only)

9-12 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boys Only)

14 — Breakaway Steer Stopping

2-4 Grade, Closed Gate 60 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

15 — Team Roping-Heading

Both age groups first

followed by Heeling both age groups

5-8 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

9-12 Grade, Closed Gate 45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

16 — Goat Tying

1st Grade and Under 45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

2-4 Grade

45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

5-8 Grade

45 seconds

(Boys and Girls)

9-12 Grade

45 seconds

(Girls Only)

17 — Pole Bending

1st Grade and Under Boys and Girls)

2-4 Grade

(Boys and Girls)

5-8 Grade

(Girls Only)

9- 12 Grade

(Girls Only)

18 — Barrel Racing

1st Grade and Under (Boys and Girls)

2-4 Grade

(Boys and Girls)

5-8 Grade

(Girls Only)

9-12 Grade

(Girls Only)