Between rodeo events, the Cochrane Lions Labour Day Weekend Rodeo features some incredible special performances.

Among them was trick rider Bella Da Costa, of Spruce Grove, AB. Now 17, she's been trick riding for 12 years and has acquired quite a bit of hardware for her performances across North America.

Among other honours, she's been Canadian champion and runner-up at the American nationals.

She said this was her first time performing at the Labour Day Weekend Rodeo.

"I think it's amazing here," she says. "Everyone's really welcoming. I love the community, and everyone's super happy. I love the hometown rodeo feel."

She makes the daring stunts look easy, but they aren't. Each requires athleticism, skill, timing, and a deep bond between horse and rider. Boone and Gus are her horses.

"You've got to have a connection with them to do this crazy stuff," she says.

She says a crowd favourite is the hippodrome, where she climbs onto the back of her horse while moving at a high speed.

"The crowd just loves it, the kids go crazy, and the announcers even cheer sometimes," she says.

It's the trick she normally leaves until the end of her performance. During Monday's rodeo, she held a Canada flag above her head that released red as she rode by the stands.

True to her word, it got the biggest response.

Trick rider 2Trick rider Bella Da Costa and Gus prepare for one of many stunts she performed at the Cochrane Lions rodeo.