Local rodeo competitors ride their way to success in Williams Lake
Rodeo competitors from the Nicola Valley and surrounding area did extremely well at this year’s Williams Lake Stampede on the Canada Day long weekend.
Merritt’s Spencer Rutherford and his partner, Chase Simpson from Claresholm, Alberta, were winners of the team roping event. Their time of 5.3 seconds on Saturday stood up over the four days and earned each cowboy a cheque for $2,368.
Katie Garthwaite from Mammit Lake enjoyed her biggest payday in some time, taking home $3,418 for her second place finish in the ladies’ barrel racing event in Williams Lake. Her time of 15.806 seconds on Friday was just 28 thousandths of a second behind the winner, Cranna Roberts of Lacombe, Alberta.
Garthwaite and her nine-year-old mare, Frenchy, had a good weekend all-round as the pair also finished ninth in Ponoka, Alberta - good for another $1,600.
“I think we kind of proved that we can run with the best of them,” stated Garthwaite, who originally found Frenchy for a friend, only to reacquire the horse for herself a year or so later.
“We’re hoping to do well enough this year to make the Canadian Finals in Edmonton in November,” she said. “I’m going to be trying to get to as many rodeos as I can in order to qualify.”
Garthwaite will soon have some company on the road as younger sister Kelly will be coming up from their hometown of Condon, Oregon to join her for a month.
Other local barrel racers who put in strong showings in Williams Lake were Fallon and Morgan Fosbery. The sisters placed third and fifth on Sunday with times of 16.464 and 16.927 seconds respectively.
Another Merritt competitor, twenty-year-old Ty Pozzobon, also enjoyed success at Williams Lake as well as places beyond.
Pozzobon’s $12,000 extra-long weekend actually began on Thursday in Alberta with stops in Ponoka (3rd, $7,790) and Airdrie (4th, $2,095).
The young bull rider then high-tailed it back to B.C. in time to place 5th at the Stampede and earn another $1,537.
Pozzobon’s busy holiday weekend schedule never really came to an end as the cowboy was on board two more mountains of beef on Tuesday night of this week, riding to scores of 82 and 83.5 and another $2,000 payday at the Ranchman’s Rodeo in Calgary.
Up next for Pozzobon is the world-famous Calgary Stampede. The 100th anniversary edition of the Stampede begins today, July 5.
Pozzobon and his four to five regular rodeo travelling companions are currently being filmed by RADTV for a season-long documentary series called Hell on Hooves that tracks the life and times of a group of young bull riders competing all across North America. The show can be seen on both TELUS and BELL satellite television.
Finally, a quartet of Nicola Valley cowboys took part in the annual mountain race event at the Williams Lake Stampede.
On Saturday, Jason Coutlee, Patrick McCleod, Chris Dieleman and Steve Quilt placed third, fourth, fifth and eighth respectively.
Coutlee, McCleod and Dieleman finished in the same order on Sunday, taking fourth thru sixth places.
Finally, on Monday, Coutlee and McCleod placed third and fifth on their final rides to finish third and fourth overall, and pick up $962 and $456 each.