The action-packed weekend included all of the favourite events

Bella Coola enjoys 33rd Annual Valley Ridge Riders Rodeo

Sunny skies on Monday added a welcome touch to an otherwise damp weekend

Submitted by Joy MacKay

Sunny skies on Monday added a welcome touch to an otherwise damp weekend, for the 33rd Annual Bella Coola Valley Ridge Riders Rodeo, held on June 30th – July 1st.

The weekend kicked off with an open gymkhana on Friday afternoon. Contestants of all ages competed in the five traditional events of Keyhole, Polebending, Stake Race, Scurries, and Barrel Racing, cheered on by a loyal group of spectators. Winners of the respective High Point titles and silver buckles for the gymkhana were Molly Gordon – Peewee; Molly Moren – Intermediate; Sydney Schuk – Junior; and Brittany Gordon – Open.

The two one-day BCRA rodeo format ensured a large pool of contestants, necessitating a ‘slack’ (overflow), in the morning of each of the performance days. The rodeo performances, held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, were enjoyed by a lively crowd that cheered particularly loudly as local contestants were introduced to compete in their respective events.

The Saturday and Sunday crowds were entertained and engaged all afternoon by the outstanding stock provided by D-n-B Rodeo; veteran announcer Brian Baldry; and by numerous opportunities to participate and enjoy the weekend’s events: from Cow Patty Bingo, to dancing, to Rodeo Burgers and beer. Speaking of dancing, while Friday’s family dance was enjoyed by a relatively small group, the dance floor was packed on Saturday night, as guests enjoyed the rockin’ country sounds of Four on the Floor.

Monday afternoon’s activities included BCBRA barrel racing, and a steer riding and bull riding Calcutta. Junior steer rider, Ryland Schuk not only won Monday’s Calcutta, but also won the event in Sunday’s rodeo. In the Monday bull riding however, the bulls won the day, making visitor Craig Allison a little richer, while the bull riders went home with day money only.

The Bella Coola Valley Ridge Riders would like to thank all of the contestants, sponsors, spectators, and volunteers that made our 33rd Annual Rodeo possible. A huge thanks you also, to the supporters of the fundraising raffle. The lucky winner of the West Coast Helicopter tour was Carrigan Tallio, and the Pacific Coastal tickets was Michele George. It takes a community….Long May We Run!

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