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95th Williams Lake Stampede first performance keeps crowd entertained

Animal athletes, cowboys and cowgirls were impressive

The 95th Williams Lake Stampede’s first performance Friday evening June 30 contained all the main events rode-goers have come to expect.

In front of a large crowd, rodeo contestants competed in bareback, tie-down roping, ladies break-away roping, saddle bronc, mountain race, steer wrestling, junior steer riding, ladies barrel racing, the wild horse race, wild cowgirl race, team roping and bull riding.

Starting off the evening, participants in the Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon Trip, the Tl’etinqox and Yunesit’in bike and horse ride and the Every Child Cross Country Wagon and Horse Ride rode into the arena.

They were greeted with loud cheers from the audience, with many people wearing orange T-shirts to show their support for Every Child Matters.

Part way through the evening it did start to rain.

When the mountain racers set out the sun was shining, but by the time they were approaching the finish line it was raining heavily.

In the mountain race, Jesse Chillihitza came first, Darren Sulin was second, William Smithers was third, Oliver Lindley fourth, Conway Lulua fifth and Shae Spiker sixth.

The placings were similar to Thursday evening for the first four and reversed for fifth and sixth place.

One of the highlights of the evening was a tie for first place in the junior steer riding.

Hunter Ference and Havana Aarsby both scored 75, causing rodeo announcer Tyson Pietsch to remark, “if you can’t beat em’ join em,” referring to Havana matching Hunter’s score riding after he did.

Havana’s steer tried to throw her off a few times, but she kept hanging on.

Bull rider Tyler Craig of Crossfield, Alta rode Sipp’n Tequila for a score of 87.

The only other bull rider to score was Dakota Buttar of Etonia, Sask. on The Boss, for which he received a score of 58.

For the Wild Cowgirls race Friday night, it was Kayle Hartman, who crossed the finish line first followed by Darby Cail, Amber Crutchly, Cj Stroller and Brittany White. Similar to the Mountain Race, the first heat was on Thursday evening.

Rodeo action returns Saturday, July 1 with the second performance beginning at 1:45 p.m.

Pietch announced there are no tickets left online for Saturday, but tickets will be sold at the box office until they are sold out.

The grandstand opens at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the ranch rodeo starting at 9 a.m.

READ MORE: Williams Lake Stampede action returns with Thursday evening show

READ MORE: 95th Annual Williams Lake Stampede officially underway

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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