14 year-old Isaac Silver-Mack takes an impressive turn in the Businessmen's Cow Ride!

Locals steal the show at 29th Annual Valley Ridge Riders Rodeo

The rain held off, for the most part, and smiles prevailed at the 29th Annual Bella Coola Rodeo, hosted by the Valley Ridge Riders.

The rain held off, for the most part, and smiles prevailed at the 29th Annual Bella Coola Rodeo, hosted by the Valley Ridge Riders. This year’s celebration last Friday afternoon, and the small amount of rain that fell didn’t dampen the spirits of contestants or the general public who attended the open air dances on Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoying upbeat live music by the ‘Johnson Brothers. Reviews of this year’s band were unanimously positive.

On Saturday and Sunday, the action got underway in the afternoon with rodeo performances co-approved by the British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) and Western Indian Rodeo and Exhibition Association (WIREA). For the third year in a row, the rodeo format featured two full one-day rodeos.  This format offers greater incentive to contestants to make the long trip through the Chilcotin and down the “Hill”.

In addition to the standard events that make up the regular rodeo performances, the Valley Ridge Riders hosted a number of novelty events, encouraging local participation. Events to which local spectators have become accustomed include the very popular Businessman’s Cow Ride, which saw more entries and more scored rides than ever. Jacob Sinclair, perhaps better known as Jim and CJ Dixon’s son-in-law, won the event and the buckle, with what was described by veteran judge Cam Williams as a “heck of a ride”.

Sunday’s Wild Cow Milking was also won by a local team: Vickie and Brody Tuck, accompanied by Darius Krugar took top honours for this action-packed event. It’s always fun for the crowd to see local contestants do well, and Brody’s return to the Valley for the weekend made for some extra fun for the whole family.  Other local contestants that put in impressive performances and took home some prize money were Annika Granander, Rachel Chatham, Vickie Tuck, and Kaitlyn Absatz. While the Valley Ridge Riders is comprised of only a small group of riders these days, that small group is competitive at any BCRA rodeo.

A Calf Scramble was held for the kids on each day of rodeo action, along with the very popular ‘Cow Patty Bingo.’ A few more lucky locals went home with bigger-than-average smiles as a result of these novelty events.  Stock Contractors Dale Dejonckeere and Barbie MacDonald, of D&B Rodeo Stock, made sure veterans and “newbies” alike had the best possible stock and were safe throughout the weekend.

Four British Columbia Barrel Racing Association (BCBRA) races were sponsored by the Club over the weekend.  The inclusion of BCBRA races helps to encourage more barrel racers to attend for the weekend rodeo, where they can also fill out their race card with BCBRA qualifiers, prior to that association’s Finals in early September. Two races were held as part of Friday’s gymkhana, and two more rounded out Monday’s ‘Buckles, Barrels and Bucks.’

The top rider in the increasingly popular Calcutta Steer Riding was Denton Spears, purchased by Bob Leneve. As Denton was traveling with the Leneve family for the weekend, it all made for a very happy camp on Monday evening.

While recent years have seen a decline in attendance by bull riders, this year saw a number of top riders stay through the weekend, and so a Calcutta Bull-a-Rama was held after all. Levi Lawlor, purchased by Mitch Lorimer, took top honours in the Bull Riding.

Veteran rodeo announcer and auctioneer Brian Baldry called the action, while his wife Nancy photographed events, and their young son, Latigo, bucked out on his first calf.

Of course, a full weekend of excitement and entertainment requires a lot of work behind the scenes, and the VRR Rodeo is no exception. While a few of the participants are semi-professionals who make at least part of their living in rodeo, the vast majority of participants are amateurs and volunteers, and it takes a lot of volunteers to put on a show of this caliber!

From local business and individuals who sponsor events with cash donations, to the many people pulling shifts in the concession, beer garden, and at the entrance gates, to the local and almost-local folks, who keep the stock moving and gates working on the backside, each and every role is important.

Many people put the weekend together, and many more enjoy the final result. The Valley Ridge Riders thanks them all! Without the support of the community, and the dedication of rodeo families, it couldn’t be done.  Congratulations to the Valley Ridge Riders on another successful rodeo. Long May You Run!

Just Posted

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Rain, snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

B.C.’s Interior set to get hit with snow while the Lower Mainland is expected to see more rain

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

Talent show: B.C. girl, 8, memorizes entire periodic table

Grade 4 student Maya Lakhanpal heads to B.C. talent show finals with unique talent

B.C. teacher suspended 5 days for touching colleague’s buttocks

Lancer Kevin Price of Chilliwack has handed the retroactive suspension for 2017 incidents

Most Read