Canadian Western Agribition kicks off in Regina with goat yoga

The Canadian Western Agribition got underway in Regina on Monday with new and unusual event.

Queen City hosting 6-day show at Evraz Place

Goat yoga sessions are scheduled to run both Monday and Tuesday at Agribition. (CBC News)

Canada's largest livestock show got underway in Regina with a new and unusual event. 

For the first time ever, goat yoga was included as part of the Canadian Western Agribition.

Dana Hassett, who was one of the first people to start goat yoga in Canada, decided to bring the class to Regina. 

At Grotto Gardens in Maple Creek, she started Canada's first goat walk and saw the interaction between the goats and the people.

"They just loved the goats and they always said they're coming for their goat therapy," she said.

She heard of goat yoga in Oregon and thought it would be a good fit for her animals.

"It's always good for a laugh," said Hassett.
Yoga teacher Louellen Murray (pictured on the left, with the CBC's Christy Climenhaga) says she still takes the classes very seriously. (CBC News)

Both of the instructors at Grotto Gardens are self-professed animal lover from ranching backgrounds.

Yoga teacher Louellen Murray said they created the class from an animal therapy perspective.

Both Murray and her counterpart are certified in ashtanga, yin, restorative, netra and children's yoga, so she said they still approach the practise seriously.   

"Our goats participate by simply coming around and loving you. So we have the goat, heart connection, we call it," she said.
Murray says they don't use treats to lure the goats. They just let them wander around. (CBC News)

Although you'll still get a good workout in, there's something about goats that makes people more willing to hit the mats.

"It's not lowering your expectation. It just seems more accessible," said Murray.
Christy Climenhaga went down to the Canadian Western Agribition to find out what the fuss was all about. 2:09

High school rodeo a family affair

Also on Monday was the Agribition high school rodeo.

Colt Kornfeld, a 16-year-old from Val Marie, Sask., took part in calf roping and team roping.

He may be young, but it's definitely not his first rodeo. He said he entered his first competition at age six.
The high school rodeo took place at the Brandt Centre in Regina on Monday. (CBC News)

For Kornfeld, it's a family affair, having inherited the ways of rodeo from his grandfather and father.

"It means a lot to follow in their footsteps. I hope to do it as long as I can," he said.

Jil Marcanko, from Rockglen, Sask, had a similar sentiment.

The 14-year-old got into the Little Britches Rodeo Association at age five and grew up dreaming of being in high school rodeos like her older brothers.

"I probably got on my first horse as a baby," she said laughing. "I couldn't wait for the day to be able to come and compete."
Jil Marcanko says she first got into rodeo at the age of five. She has dreams to one day go pro. (CBC News)

So far, it hasn't been a disappointment for Marcanko, who is competing in her third or fourth high school rodeo in Regina. This year, she entered five events including barrel race, goat tie and team rope.

One day, she said she hopes to make it into the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

"I want to do it until I die," she said. "This is my life. I love it."

The six-day show will host over 1,200 international guests from over 75 countries, according to its website.