2023 Smith-Hondo Fall Fair and Rodeo

Numbers good, despite heavy smoke

Leader staff

The heavy smoke casting a pall over the region in the days before the September long weekend got even heavier on Sept. 2, which was the first big day of the Smith-Hondo Fall Fair & Rodeo. The sun appeared as a little red ball in the sky for most of the day, and everything had a hazy appearance.

But the people still showed up!

“The stands were full Saturday,” says SHARA (Smith-Hondo Association of Recreational and Agricultural Society) President Becky Peiffer, the event organizer. “Really packed.”

Sunday’s attendance was a bit less, but overall, Peiffer says, the 2023 edition of the fall festival was a big success.

The bench show at the community hall had its usual array of produce, baking, handicrafts and such – most of it by local people. Margaret van Rompaey had many entries and finished in top spot among adult participants, based on money won for first, second and third-place ribbons. Second was Candice Lachner and third was Arvilla Sloan. Van Rompaey also won the Noma Beauchamp Award, given to the person with the most items entered in the show. She had things entered in nine different categories.

In the bench show junior category, the Hamptons, Kate and Esther, finished first and second, with Eva Lachner in third.

Winner of the Miss Teen Fall Fair competition this year was Kailey Mackinnon. She got top marks from the judges in four categories: hours of community service, horsemanship, public speaking and appearance/presentation.

According to organizer Carley Evernden, it’s the second year for the event as part of the fall fair, and it certainly won’t be the last!

The other contestants this year were Kaitlyn Dennis, Jaci Attfield and Brysa McConaghy. Last year’s winner was Brooke Evans.

The newest thing of all was the appearance of a pro wrestling show, put on by Monster Pro Wrestling of Edmonton, and featuring Slave Lake’s Tarzan Hayes. About 150 people turned out at the community hall for the show, Peiffer says.

As for who won what, the following rodeo results come courtesy of Virginia Wasieczko of SHARA, with home communities added in some cases.

Mini Broncs
1st- Leyla Chausse
1st- Aiden Lee
2nd- Mesa Miller – Athabasca
3rd-Carson Lee

  1. Noah Sisson – Slave Lake
    2/3. Stran Roth – Newbrook
    2/3. Kelan Tronchuk – Newbrook
  2. Matthew Erasmus
    Calf Riding
  3. Carson Lee
    2.Tucker Skrynyk – Slave Lake
  4. Liz Dul – Westlock
    Steer Riding
  5. Lucas Skubban
  6. Aiden Lee
    Ladies Cow Riding
  7. Makayla House
  8. Sydney Kingdon
  9. Mackenzie Collins

Saddle Bronc

  1. Saydee Shara
  2. Jaron Johnson

Team Roping

  1. Courtnal Shenfield/Nicole Briggs
  2. Braiden Sprowl/ Darren Bellerose – Kinuso
  3. Tom Sprowl/Darren Bellerose – Kinuso
  4. Colton Fenske/Chris Hardman
    Ladies Barrels
  5. Penny Miller – Athabasca
  6. Harley Wasieczko – Fawcett
  7. Jade Fast
  8. Val Frey – Athabasca

Junior Barrels

  1. Nevada Couette
  2. Brooke Evans – Slave Lake
  3. Jaci Attfield – Smith
  4. Kaitlyn Dennis – Slave Lake
    Peewee Barrels
  5. Mesa Miller – Athabasca
  6. Spencer Bourassa
  7. Hudson Wolfram – Slave Lake
  8. Addison Melansen

Junior Bulls
1st/2nd Kegan Miller – Athabasca
1st/2nd Noah Sisson – Slave Lake


  1. Jesse Havell – Valleyview
  2. Drake Wasieczko – Fawcett
The open mic opportunity at the far end of the arena attracted various performers, one of them being William Stirling.
The wild pony ride was one of the early events at the rodeo, providing a bit of excitement and entertainment.
An example of some of the fine produce on display at the bench show.
This little fella was determined to catch a chicken in Cherie Hayes’ petting zoo, but the chicken was not having it.
Tiny, but tough enough.
Looking good and having fun in the parade.
Hanging on for dear life in the Mutton Bustin’ competition.
Kailey Mackinnon (pictured with her horse Roxie) was named Miss Smith Fall Fair, winning out over three competitors for the 2023 crown. Photo courtesy of Leea Mackinnon.
Trent Prinz cuts for all he’s worth in the log-sawing competition, sponsored by Rusty Steve’s. Keeping watch on the left are Steve and Shari Spencer of Rusty Steve’s. Bradley Stedel won the competition, going home with a chainsaw package donated by Rusty Steve’s.

Closer look

Kids were climbing fences to get a better view of the True Grit drill team, that opened the festivities at the Trailduster Grounds just after noon on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Gracie Malone was very busy, as usual, providing face-painting services at the fair, and not just for kids!
Dustin Lega loses his lid in the saddle bronc event.
Calf-riding sometimes ends well, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The Saturday morning pancake breakfast, courtesy of the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, was a big hit. “We stopped counting at 400,” said CAO Barry Kolenosky.
One of the photos in the bench show competition that seemed to draw a lot of attention and comment was this one, called Solstice, by Jennifer Hayes.
Fill ‘er up! – Kendra Kozdroski of M.D. 124 tosses candy to Ryker Heckbert and Beau Vandale.
Ione Robinson of Kinuso had some mouth-watering goods for sale on the market side of the community hall, including some chokecherry syrup. She said she’d been competing with the bears to get at the chokecherries this fall.
Adriana Saunders and her horse round the first barrel in the barrel racing competition.

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