SUBMITTED BY MELISSA SWORD
The 2011 British Columbia rodeo season was officially launched Friday, April 15th with the 21st Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo. Held at the Cariboo Memorial Complex in Williams Lake, the Williams Lake Indoor is a much anticipated event for barrel racers anxious to get back on the rodeo road and pit their horses against some of the top competitors in BC. This year, 98 Ladies, Junior and Peewee barrel racing contestants braved the cold and snowy weather to warm up their horses for the three performances which kicked off at 6:00 pm on Friday.
About 60 truckloads of dirt supplied by Lake Excavating Ltd. were hauled in to Rink 1 in preparation for the rodeo. Melanie Beeton, who won the Ladies Barrel racing in 2010 and placed a close second this year said, “The ground was great! That’s the 2nd year in a row that they had wonderful ground! The committee really needs a super pat on the back for the hard work they do to put on such a great rodeo. To put an indoor rodeo on with artificial ground can be so difficult, especially to make it safe for the barrel racers. I can honestly say I was very impressed! The Williams Lake Indoor has been very good to me and I look forward to it every year!”
Coleen Duggan of Cache Creek, BC riding her horse Rainy Weather, won the Ladies Barrels with the fastest time of the weekend, 14.161.
Lane Wills of Quesnel, BC riding Flick It Dot Com, stopped the clock at 14.226 to win the Junior category. Lane enthusiastically recounted her winning run: “My run felt really good! Flick was smooth and quick and it was exactly what I set out to do that day. It was great to have such a good start on the rodeo season this year!”
Nine-year-old Elly Farmer of Savona, BC is off to a good start with her first place finish in the Peewee Barrels on her horse, Chili, putting in a time of 15.327. Elly, who has been barrel racing since the age of five, finished off the 2010 Rodeo season with a win at the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo in Barriere, BC and is looking forward to a successful 2011 season.
The next stop for the BCRA barrel racing cowgirls is the Princeton Rodeo, May 14th & 15th.