To Run. Or, Not to Run.

There’s earnings, standings and pride at risk. Is it worth the risk?

We have all shown up to a jackpot or rodeo when the ground conditions have been less than ideal. Whether it be due to Mother Nature, or simply, just not safe. We watch girls go out and “safety up”, while others go for it.

How do we know what we should do, and what is at risk?

There is ground that can handle copious amounts of rain and still be safe, yet subconsciously in the back of our minds we are thinking, “What if?”

There are some horses that can handle those sorts of conditions, still we need to ask ourselves, is it worth it to put our horses, and ourselves at risk for one run? Depending what is at stake for the winning run, we always need to think of the longevity of ourselves and our horses.

When I was competing at the Calgary Stampede one year, it poured right before the performance on Day 4. Go figure. I was right on the bubble for qualifying for the Sunday Showdown, and needed to do something. Luckily, I was not the first one out to test the ground. I sat back and watched a few girls go, some were too safe, and some went for it, and ended up slipping, or cruising on by the barrels because their horses had nothing to get a hold of.

In my mind, I was scared.

I love my horse.

Running in the mud places you and your horse at risk.

Right before I ran, I had a memory of a couple years prior, where I was fortunate enough to get a great piece of advice from a great Canadian champion barrel racer and futurity trainer. She told me, “Sometimes you just need to sacrifice a run. It doesn’t matter where you are, and what is up for grabs. Just slow it down, and make a confidence run.”

I know Captain can run. I knew if I really controlled that first barrel, he could get a feel for the ground. My goal was to be safe in the turns, and really push him in between. In the mud, that is where you can make up your time. And it worked! We were safe, clean, and qualified for the Sunday Showdown. And what an experience!

So when conditions are less than ideal, if you are unsure, remember that piece of advice that was offered to me at one time, and in the long run, it will pay off.

New Barrel Patch Blogger

Western Horse Review welcomes two-time CFR Qualifier Kendra Edey to our online crew. Stay in touch as Edey takes us with her down the rodeo road.

Longview, Alberta cowgirl, Kendra Edey.

My love for life surrounds horses, barrel racing, and the natural beauty of nature that is in this world. Living countless hours in the saddle and on the rodeo trail, I am truly grateful for the experiences and success I have had along the way. I have been lucky enough to raise and train all of my own horses, from my father-in-laws breeding program (Stampede Ranch Performance Horses), and have them take me to the top (Canadian Finals Rodeo, Calgary Stampede, Houston Super Series Rodeo, San Antonio, and much more). I have seen much and met many interesting people along my travels, in which I would love to share with you in my writings. Feel free to follow my blog in the Western Horse Review – The Barrel Patch and like, share or comment with your thoughts and opinions!

Thank you for reading and good luck to everyone in their travels!

~ Kendra Edey

Barrel Racers’ Sprint for CFR Heats Up

 

Photo by Deanna Buschert

As the dog days of summer settle in and the races for coveted CFR berths intensify, a couple of people who narrowly missed getting to the Finals in 2012 are doing all they can to see that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Merritt, British Columbia’s Katie Garthwaite added to her earnings total on a weekend that featured the ‘east run’–the trio of rodeos in Kennedy and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and Morris, Manitoba—with a win and two solid placings on her palomino mare, Frenchie.

The duo clocked a 17.161 at Maple Creek for the win, and added a fourth place finish at Kennedy and a 5/6 split at the 50th anniversary edition of the Manitoba Stampede for a total of $2289 and a move to tenth in the overall standings and, more importantly tops among the Canadians who will make up seven of the twelve CFR qualifiers.

Garthwaite who was $600 out of a CFR spot a year ago stated emphatically, “I don’t want that to happen again!” Her 10 year-old mare (FC Guys Prime Time), an own daughter of Frenchman’s Guy out of an own daughter of Martha’s Six Moons has been solid all year. “I actually found her for a friend of mine who bought her but didn’t get along with her so I got her a year later and things have really clicked for us.”

“I have two really nice horses now so this is just a lot of fun,” Garthwaite smiled. The second mount is the talented young stallion, Fiesta Royale that belongs to Bruce H. Robinson. She likes the equine pair enough that next year she is planning to breed the mare to the grey stud for an eventual embryo transfer.

Also on a mission to ensure that 2013 isn’t a repeat of the year previous is Big Valley, Alberta’s Kirsty White. The talented trainer / farrier / rider has never been to the Edmonton season-ender and missed last year’s CFR by a heart-breaking nineteen dollars. White cashed decent cheques at Morris and Maple Creek and as things sit now, she is 11th overall and second, right behind Garthwaite among the Canadians.

“I’m really excited about the way the season has gone so far,” White commented, “and I really feel that a lot of the runs from here on are set up just right for my horse.” The horse is Special Tack (aka Racy) a seven year old daughter of Plain Special, race bred on top and cow bred on the bottom side.

If last year is any indicator, White could be right as she and Racy were very tough over the latter part of last season before falling just short in their quest for a Finals berth.

There were other contestants who made important moves over the weekend including Cochrane bulldogger, Harley Cole, who parlayed a 3.9 first place run and $2319 payday at Morris into a spot in the top fifteen in Canada. Ky Marshall won one of the three weekend events and shared the lead at a second to move up in the overall bareback standings and the all around race. The Bowden cowboy was 89 points on Big Stone’s Second Thoughts at the Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo in Kennedy for $1068 and split first place in Maple Creek with 84 points on Bar C5’s Fabio for $822. 2008 Canadian champion bronc rider Dusty Hausauer of Dickinson, North Dakota captured top honours at Maple Creek with an 84 point ride on the Big Stone bronc, Buckle Up, and added a second place finish at Kennedy and a ninth place cheque at Morris for a productive $2012 weekend that should go a long way toward getting the talented cowboy’s – thus far frustrating Canadian season – back on track.

Additional winners at Manitoba’s only professional rodeo stop included Sam Kelts (82 points on Vold’s Days and Nights) for $2808; Matt Lait (81 on Vold’s Medieval Knevil) for $2436; Chad Johnson in Tie Down Roping with an 8.8 for $2040 (Johnson added a $1237 second place cheque in Team Roping); bull rider Garret Green (86.5 on Vold’s Bong and a Blitz) for $2842; Melissa Theissen, 17.544 for $2060 and team ropers Stacey Cornet and Dake Skocdopole, 4.8 for $1422 each at the first-ever team roping at Morris, added especially for the 50th year celebrations.

See rodeocanada.com for complete weekend results and payouts.

This week’s CPRA stops are the Medicine Hat Stampede, July 25-27 and the 100th Annual Bruce Stampede July 28 with CPRA Bull Ridings at Oyen July 24 and Cochrane July 27.

WPRA Enforcing Drug Policy at Calgary

BY DEANNA BUSCHERT

Lindsay Sears Calgary Stampede

Two- time World Champion Barrel Racer Lindsay Sears, believes drug testing is necessary for the sport, if it is done correctly. Photo by Deanna Buschert.

For the first time in Canada, drug testing has made its way to the sport of barrel racing. Last November, Canada’s Lindsay Sears stated the need for proper drug enforcement in the sport to the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal. At that time the Women’s Professional Barrel Racing Association (WPRA), had presented an extensive policy to its members in October of 2012, but were stalling at actually implementing these rules.

On July 9th, at the Calgary Stampede, shortly after the first barrel racing performance of Pool B, Sears was escorted to the sidelines to participate in the controversial WPRA drug testing process.

After having her bay gelding Moe tested, Sears said she did hear rumors of testing earlier in the day.

“I heard they did it in the first group,” said Sears. “I didn’t know they were here until this morning.”

So far the WPRA’s behind the scenes testing, is a discrete random process.

“As soon as you are done running, somebody escorts you with your horse – so that nothing has been administered between your run and your test.”

Sears said she did not know until after her run, that she was going to be pulled aside.

Despite the fact that the WPRA is finally cracking down on its own policies, Sears said she is only somewhat satisfied with the whole process.

“I think it is necessary for our sport. The problem with drug testing is that there are a lot of tests. In my opinion the NSAIDs drugs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), are not the problem and that is what they are mainly testing for.”

These NSAIDs drugs such as Bute and Banamine, Sears noted, are like taking a Tylenol for a headache.

“I think the Class 3 drugs are the issue.”

Class 3 drugs which are outlined in the WPRA Drug Rules and Guidelines include non-therapeutic, autonomic nervous system stimulants and anabolic and (or) androgenic steroids.

“We are no different than horse racing. They need to tailor the drug testing to our sport. If the WPRA would do that, I am okay with it. But if they make us abide by jumping rules, I don’t think that is fair, because our sport is different. Our horses need different things than a jumper or a cutter.”

A professional barrel horse, Sears points out spends a lot of time on the road-hauling from rodeo to rodeo.

“The problem with these horses is the trailering. Some people think it is the runs that are hard on them. It’s not. It’s the miles they go, that are hard on them.”

Is this drug testing process now beneficial for barrel racing?

“I think it is necessary in order for our sport to go forward. We are like every other equine sport that is having to do it. I don’t think we are much different. Whether you like it or not, the public really likes it and it makes them feel better about it.”

Sears smiled and looked back at her horses.

“If the WPRA were to do it correctly, it would be a good thing.”

Arizona Western Go-Sees

By far one of the most prominent horse events in February is the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show & Shopping Expo, beginning February 14 and running through to February 24. It’s held at the beautiful WestWorld facility and whether Arabians are your breed of choice or not, this show is a must-see if you’re in the area.

This year, the 58th edition of the show will host more than 640 colorful classes, which will collectively pay out over $1 million dollars in prizes. Check back to my post in 2011 for a few photos and words about the show. From the tradeshow, to the stall fronts, to the many classes, It truly is an amazing show.

One of the highlights of the show and a significant draw for western riders is the lucrative reining division. Watch for a Canadian representation in the Reining Futurity Classic, which offers a full and part-bred division and pays out $150,000. In addition there is a Non-Pro Derby and a Limited Futurity division.

 

Currently ongoing and through to Feb. 3 is the Arizona Sun Circuit, a fantastic Quarter Horse circuit which we featured in our Getaways section of the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine, and I believe a number of Canadians are competing at as well. There’s a number of excellent free clinics over the course of this show, definitely worth the entry gate admission.

Still in January, western lore aficionados can meander down to Mesa, Arizona and take in the massive High Noon Western Americana Collectors Weekend, Jan. 26-27. Covering all genres from antiques to cowboy chic, I’m guessing there will be interesting collections of both saddles and spurs, amongst other treasures.

Fan of horsemanship and cow sorting? Trainer Paul Dietz is hosting a horsemanship clinic Jan. 26 and a cow working clinic Jan. 27 at his Desert Hills facility. Team sorting practice is every Sunday afternoon.

Looking for something new to do with your horse for 2013. Western Dressage is taking off at Carefree Dressage in north Scottsdale.

Finally, we’ve been driving by these tents on our sojourns into Scottsdale. If you happened to miss Cavalia when it was in Canada, I imagine experiencing it in the desert would be equally magnificent. It’s running from now through to the end of Jan.

MORE HORSE EVENTS IN THE PHOENIX AREA:

There’s a Blue Ribbon Horse Show Feb. 10 at the Arizona Horse Lovers Park. 

If you

haven’t experienced the town of Wickenburg, their annual Gold Rush Days, Feb. 8-10, might be a good time to take a drive there. The town celebrates it’s ranching and gold-mining heritage with a parade, rodeo, dance, arts and of course, a staple of Arizona’s Wild West – gunfighter’s shootouts.

If you are hankering for some desert riding, hook up with the Arizona Fox Trotter Gaited National Trail Ride, Feb. 28 to March 3. Held at the historic Boyd Ranch, near Wickenburg, this ranch is nestled in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert. The trails are said to pass magnificent saguaro cactus’s and historic sites from the 1800s along the Hassayampa River. I don’t believe it is a full 5 day ride, but rather day rides with hitching rails for horses, and showers and restrooms for riders. Saturday features a dance., contact Clare Ross at (928) 925-6595 or clareross@mindspring.com

Dunn’s Arena, at Litchfield Park is a roper’s and sorter’s paradise with weekly events in both sports, as well as barrel racing. Check out the link for a full calendar of events.

The Scottsdale Saddle Club, Arizona’s oldest and one of its most active saddle clubs, has a Western Show on Feb. 17, more details at the site.

Cowboy mounted shooting offers up a vibrant culture in Arizona. Head down to the Ed Hooper arena in Casa Grande on Feb. 25-26 for what’s headlined as “not your Gramma’s shoot!” –  The Gunfight in Arizona.

In Germany, I happened to have a chance to attend a medieval jousting festival. Held on ancient castle grounds, it was a completely unexpected and fascinating side trip, learning and experiencing this vibrant equine sub-culture, which exists surrounding the Middle Ages and the sport of jousting.

Arizona also has it’s own Renaissance Festival. It runs every Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 9 to March 31, held near Apache Junction.

Finally, this year’s Carefree Indian Market and Cultural Festival, Jan. 25-27, features a rich display of native American art, music and dance.

Results From CFR Championship Sunday

Canadian Finals Rodeo Edmonton CPRA

Photos by Deanna Buschert

The Canadian Finals Rodeo has wrapped-up in Edmonton, Alberta. The top cowboys and cowgirls from the United States and Canada, came to brave the snow and wintery temperatures of the north to capture the dream of a national rodeo title.

Here is a list of the 2012 Canadian Professional Rodeo Champions:

Bareback – JR Vezain, Cowley WY
Saddle Bronc – Luke Butterfield, Ponoka AB
Bull Riding – Scott Schiffner, Strathmore AB
Barrel Racing – Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs SD
Tie Down Roping – Joshua Peek, Pueblo CO
Steer Wrestling – Tanner Milan, Cochrane AB
Team Roping – Dustin Bird, Cutbank MT, and Paul Eaves, Millsap TX
Steer Riding – Kagen Schmidt, Barrhead AB
Novice Bareback – Jacob Stemo, Calgary AB
Novice Saddle Bronc – Layton Green, Meeting Creek AB

CFR Champion Saddlebronc Horse – Shoshone Mountain, Calgary Stampede
CFR Champion Bareback Horse – Street Dance, Kesler Rodeo
CFR Champion Bull – Whiskey Jack, Kesler Rodeo

All Around Champion – Kyle Thompson, Lundbreck AB
High Point Champion – Josh Peek, Pueblo CO

Niki Flundra Canadian Finals Rodeo Edmonton

Niki Cammaert Flundra and the Remembrance Day tribute, during Sunday’s performance.

Tanner Milan

Tanner Milan of Cochrane, Alberta, wins the 2012 CPRA Steer Wrestling title.

Lisa Lockhart

Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs SD, Montana and her horse Louie, are the 2012 Canadian Barrel Racing champions.

Shane Hanchey CPRA 2012 WInner

Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, Louisiana, takes the Canadian Tie-Down title, south of the border.

Lindsay Sears, Nanton AB,

Canada’s Lindsay Sears on Moe, finished third in Sunday’s final round of competition.

On the Futurity Road

BY DEANNA BUSCHERT

Raylee Edwards

Fast Eddie placed 9th in the Futurity Average, at this spring’s Valley Girls Barrel Daze, in Walla Walla, Washington. Photos by Deanna Buschert

In the March issue of the Western Horse Review, we introduced readers to this season’s Walters Quarter Horses futurity prospects to be campaigned by the 2003 Canadian Professional Barrel Racing Champion, Raylee Edwards. Months later, tamoxifen the heat is on and the late summer sun has this competitor fighting to keep her string of horses fit and at the top of their game. Each futurity is showing one horse stand out, while another tests its’ rider’s stamina. After falling out of the top ten at June’s Silver Sage Futurity in Brooks, Alberta, Raylee mentions the June weekend was “rough”.

“I had a very full plate and perhaps got off on the wrong foot. I was 13th on Fast Eddie and 14th on Super Sue. One of the derby horses just missed the cut and the other worked really nice, but tipped. He would have made the finals. So, it’s on to the next one.”

After July’s South Country Futurity and Derby in Cardston, AB, Raylee felt it was time for the crew to take a break. A full time job of looking after a herd of young barrel horses can seem like a dream opportunity. However, as Raylee wipes the sweat from her forehead, she says it’s not easy.

Raylee taking a break in the shade, during the South Country Futurity and Derby in Cardston, AB, July 6-8th.

“I ride them a lot. I will spend at least 45 minutes per horse. It makes for a full day. A lot of times I will go ride at night, when Kassie (Raylee’s daughter) is asleep. In the past three weeks I have been making sure these horses are my priority.”

With horses on the farm to start, pattern, futurity, derby and rodeo, Raylee notes that putting time in the saddle is a demanding position.

Meet the list of Walter Quarter Horses, on the 2012 Futurity Road.

LITTLE SIS SUE: 

Lil Sis Sue Raylee Edwards Walter Quarter Horses

‘Super Sue’, is sired by Real Easy Buy and out of the dam Docs Baby Sue.

Super Sue is out of one of the Walter’s most powerful broodmares. This young mare is a full sister to Real Easy Doc (Doc), the CPRA’s 2010 Ladies Barrel Racing Horse with the Most Heart, and Canadian Champion and earner of over $250,000. Docs Baby Sue also produced Kid Baby $15,000 Pro Tour winner, and Sansue Streaker a multiple derby champion who passed away in 2008.

FAST EDWARDS:

Fast Edwards Raylee Edwards Walter Quarter Horses

‘Fast Eddie’, is sired by Real Easy Buy, out of the dam Doc Lou Sue.

Fast Eddie represents the basis of the Walter Quarter Horse breeding program. His sire, Real Easy Buy, by the AQHA legend Easy Jet, is their present stallion. The gelding’s dam, by Big Time Louie was out of their favorite mare, Docs Baby Sue.

DEFINE FLAIRE:

Define Flaire Raylee Edwards Walter Quarter Horses

‘Floozy’, is sired by Real Easy Buy out of the dam Streaky Girl.

Floozy’s dam, Streaky Girl, is another Docs Baby Sue daughter, by Kiddin N Streakin. She was born in 2000 and Floozy is her first foal. Raylee had the opportunity to ride Flair, who also had a very sensible personality. As a barrel horse, she placed at the Diamond N, Silver Sage and South Country Futurities, before being retired to become a broodmare.

McCABE:

Decathelete Raylee Edwards Walter Quarter Horses

‘McCabe’, sired by Kiddin N Streakin, out of the dam MD Misty Me.

McCabe is one of the last Kiddin N Streakin offspring left for the Walters to futurity. The 1984 stallion was by the 2011 AQHA Hall of Fame inductee Streakin Six, and passed away on their farm in the summer of 2010.

Watch for this year’s final Futurity Road instalment in the November/December issue of Western Horse Review and catch up with how these prospects finished their year. Stay tuned online for more online updates, leading up to the final event of the season. The Canadian Barrel Horse Incentive Futurity, to be held Oct 4-7th, at the Ponoka Ag Event Facility. Results from the 2012 season are listed online at the Canadian Barrel Horse Futurity website.

In the meantime, check out Raylee’s barrel saddle, called The Raylee Racer, located at the Frontier Western Shop, in Claresholm, AB.

September/October Sneak Peek

Coming soon to your mailbox and newsstand, I’m excited to preview the September/October issue for y’all here.

When I watched seasoned chuckwagon driver Chad Harden’s lead horse collapse and the subsequent pile-up of horses, humans and wheels during a heat of the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby on July 12, my heart leapt to my throat. Reviewing it on film, it was unimaginable the humans escaped injury, but fortunately they did. Three horses however, were lost; the Harden family and his barn subsequently devastated and heartbroken. Those immersed in the chuck racing circuit culture know and understand the level of care and love that goes into these animals, where horses are truly a part of the family.

Chad Harden racing at the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby. Photo by Deanna Buschert.

 Just three nights later on July 15, after the last heat of the races, 40-year veteran driver Grant Profit, sold his entire outfit including horses, during a retirement auction at the same barns Harden’s team had pulled out of three days before. A highlight of the sale was the right and left lead of Profit’s team – Forever Grand and Anglian Prince, a pair of former race horses. The 13-year-old Thoroughbreds sold for a combined $179,000 to another experienced driver, Kelly Sutherland. He later stated he felt the two horses who had been “barned together” for many years should stay together, illustrating the value these horses represent to their owners – not only in monetary means, but emotionally as well.

I spoke with Shelly Profit after the sale and she reiterated their devotion to their animals:

“All of our horses that we sold meant the world to us and we spent hours every day with them. Caring for them, feeding, brushing and training, each one of them have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. Even in the winter we would just go out in the pasture with them and they would all come up to us for a pet on the nose, and most of them loved peppermints and that was their treats. They were truly a part of our family, and we miss them dearly.”

A study on chuckwagon horses during races is currently in progress by a University of Calgary researcher who was on the scene at this year’s Rangeland Derby conducting a series of medical trials on the horses. Deanna Buschert’s piece, Scientific Experiment, reveals how that research may help not only chuckwagon horses, but other equine athletes as well.

Max Gibb is confident of the Balzac racetrack’s future. “It will make us the Woodbine of Western Canada,” he says. “And, it will be a big, big boost for horse racing.” Photo by Jessica Patterson

The remains of a track of another sort stands abandoned in a field northeast of Calgary. The Balzac racetrack was destined to restore and nurture the growth of horse racing in Alberta. Instead it dissolved into a field of unrealized dreams. Writer Jessica Patterson spent a good month researching the timeline of how this dream went down for her story, Field of Dreams. There is a faint hope the track will move forward, though on a much reduced scale and with mini-steps. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

When we came across this photo of Chantal Sutherland in a recent issue of Vanity Fair, we knew we had to include the Ontario born jockey in Jenn Webster’s feature piece, Generation Y Cowgirl. 

With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (those born 1981-1994) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. This group of achievement-oriented individuals are both tech-savvy and conversely, uninterested in the fast track. They’ll gladly trade in the security of a job for a flexible work schedule and doing what they love. They are attention-cravers and motivated by praise and reassurance, whether by mentors or a much larger audience. Outside of the baby boomers, they are the most influential demographic group in our population. I love Jenn Webster’s interviews with four such incredibly driven females, including Chantal, in her story.

 This feature quickly came forward as the subject for this issue’s cover. Thanks to photographer Neville Palmer for his conceptualization of this cover shoot.

Also in this issue, Managing Editor, Dainya Sapergia, also takes a up close and personal look at the relatively underground sport of polocrosse.

Photo by Krista Kay.

Western Lifestyle Editor, Deanna Beckley, together with photographer, Krista Kay, put together an eight page Fall Fashion feature, which simply wowed us all.

Photo by Deanna Buschert.

Deanna Buschert and I enjoyed a positively lovely afternoon hanging out with this gal and her Corgi’s in her incredible western home, and I was able to write about it in my feature, Western Retreat. 

With show season in full swing we covered some of the very many events already completed, took a look at the Calgary Stampede’s Cowboy Challenge champion Jim Anderson’s favorite bit and kicked off a new regular feature, Show Ready, this issue showcasing must-have items every reiner has on their list.

In the realm of horse health, don’t miss our Equine Practitioners Guide, showcasing a selection of the top professionals in the business. As well, we take a look at five favorite equine supplements, get yourself versed on how to recognize and understand lameness, and develop an understanding for why some two-year-olds are shod.

Photo by Larry Wong.

Writer Melissa Sword penned a fascinating piece on barrel racer Gaylene Buff, in her piece, Driven to Succeed. As you will read, this is a competitor with a hard working attitude and intense determination to succeed.

Finally, it’s sale time! Check out the best sales of this fall in our annual Fall Sale Guide. (Be sure you are subscribed to our e-newsletter feed to catch updates on these sales and heads up of late additions.)

We hope we’ve hit the right mix of horsemanship, western culture and style for y’all with this issue. I hope you love reading it, as much as we enjoyed building it.

46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo

Quesnel Rodeo

Micaiah Gordon, Elijah Gordon and Lane Paley catch a “wild ride” in the newest event, Wild Pony Racing. ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

The anticipation of watching talented rodeo athletes in action brought in a full sized crowd to Alex Fraser Park for the 46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo. One of the most popular rodeos on the BC Rodeo Association schedule, the Quesnel Rodeo consists of three full performances and a Saturday morning slack.

BCRA office manager, Denise Swampy reports that in total, Quesnel Rodeo entries were up from last year; Ladies Barrel Racing entries alone saw an increase of just over 35% from 2011. While entries vary somewhat from rodeo to rodeo, Swampy says “For the most part, 2012 numbers have been about the same as 2011”.

The anticipation of watching talented rodeo athletes in action brought in a full sized crowd to Alex Fraser Park for the 46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo.  One of the most popular rodeos on the BC Rodeo Association schedule, the Quesnel Rodeo consists of three full performances and a Saturday morning slack.

BCRA office manager, Denise Swampy reports that in total, Quesnel Rodeo entries were up from last year; Ladies Barrel Racing entries alone saw an increase of just over 35% from 2011.  While entries vary somewhat from rodeo to rodeo, Swampy says “For the most part, 2012 numbers have been about the same as 2011”.

Advertising, sponsorships and spectators help to keep rodeos “in business”.     Quesnel Rodeo Club member, Mel Petersen, supplied some background on the club’s efforts to encourage spectator attendance as well as promoting the Quesnel Rodeo.

“For the past three years the club has been doing radio ads in Vanderhoof and Prince George for our July Rodeo and the BCRA Finals Rodeo held in September.  In addition to the radio ads, each morning of the week prior to the rodeo, both radio stations have been doing an on-air rodeo promotion contest called “A Rodeo Weekend Getaway in Quesnel”.  The winner and one guest receive a prize package consisting of:  two nights of accommodation at the Sandman Hotel, dinner at the Shark Club Bar & Grill, breakfast at Denny’s, VIP Rodeo Passes, Barn Dance tickets and a four hour trail ride with Martin Dillabough at the Triple J Ranch.”

“Carol Gass, the morning DJ in Prince George advised me that when they are doing this contest, they are inundated with callers.  So far, every contest winner has been very excited about winning and very impressed with the friendliness of our city and had a great time in Quesnel. “

Petersen sums it all up, “Given the number of people who were at the rodeo from both Vanderhoof and Prince George, it appears that our promotion in these communities is paying off.”

Barrel racing is my favorite event.  Over the years, barrel racing has evolved into big time money, where the payouts rival the men’s events and a rider can win or lose by one thousandth of a second.  The horses are fine tuned athletes who become as famous as their riders and successful bloodlines demand top dollar in the horse market.

The weekend of July 20, 21 and 22, barrel racers traveled from all over BC to compete in the fast paced action at the Quesnel Rodeo.  This year, the “Southern Girls” won the top honors:  Laura James (Kamloops, BC) laid claim to a first place finish in the Ladies Barrel Racing and $1,259.28 when she stopped the clock with a time of 15.685.  Bacardi Zimmerlee (Clinton, BC) put in a time of 16.139 for a first place finish in the Junior Barrel Racing, earning her a check for $373.32 and Pee Wee Barrel Racer Elly Farmer (Savona, BC) ran the fast time of 16.581 in her age group to win $224.00.

Laura James

Laura James and Stretch clock the fastest time of the weekend, 15.685 ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Ladies Barrels Top Ten: 
1. Laura James 15.685 $1259.28
2. Judy Hyde 15.742 $996.93
3. Joleen Seitz 16.024 $839.52
4. Tammy Robinson 16.046 $682.11
5. Fallon Fosbery 16.084 $419.76
6. Coleen Duggan 16.094 $314.82
7. Brooke Wills 16.116 $262.35
8. Kassi Simpson 16.167 $209.88
9. Monica Oram 16.179 $157.41
10. Cathy Bueckert 16.200 $104.94
Bacardie Zimmerlee

Bacardi Zimmerlee and Dolly finish first in the Junior Barrel Racing ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Junior Barrels Top Six:
1. Bacardi Zimmerlee 16.139 $373.32
2. Tosha Seitz 16.202 $285.48
3. Lane Wills 16.474 $197.64
4. Ricki Laviolette 16.502 $109.80
5. Rikki Hutnyk 16.550 $76.86
6. Taneesha Beaupre 16.561 $54.90
Elly Farmer

First place winner, Pee Wee Barrel Racer Elly Farmer ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Pee Wee Barrels Top Four:
1. Elly Farmer 16.581 $224.00
2. Tyler Cherry 17.418 $168.00
3. Dyson Leneve 18.013 $112.00
4. Brianna Billy 18.466 $56.00

September 20, 21 and 22 Alex Fraser Park will once again be the scene of some riveting, fast paced rodeo action. The Quesnel Rodeo Club will host the BCRA Championship Finals Rodeo where the top ten in each event will compete in three performances to determine who will wear the 2012 Championship buckles.

Mark the dates on your calendar, place your bets and don’t miss out on a single minute of the excitement! See y’all there!