Congratulations to all the local competitors who took part in the Ranch Challenge competition last weekend during the Williams Lake Stampede.
The event is growing in popularity and most of the Cariboo (geographically) was well-represented by the various ranch entries.
Kudos to the volunteers who run the Ranch Challenge and to the sponsors who contribute to the event.
A contest highlight is the Ranch-Bronc Riding which took place Saturday afternoon (right after the rodeo performance) as the ranch cowboy contingent of bronc riders took their working saddles over to the bucking chutes.
It was gratifying to see at least half of the sold-out rodeo crowd of more than 4,000 spectators remain in their seats, eagerly anticipating the event and they were not disappointed as the riders put on quite a show. Judged more for show than technique, several riders were costumed (a busty-blonde) and the very liberal use of baby powder (for effect) made more than a few people start to sneeze.
With many of the larger ranches really struggling to find employees, it was generous of ownership/management to allow the entrants the four days off they needed in order to take part; some outfits are close enough to town that everyone can go at day’s end (and do chores in the dark) but for others, it’s too far so they had at least three sleeps away from home.
At least the erratic weekend weather allowed for relatively guilt-free absenteeism for most of them, as the daily thunder showers eliminated the possibility of harvesting any crops; therefore, no one needed to fret about missing valuable harvest-time.
In the markets, Western Canadian feeder cattle prices continue to hold steady (strong) as quality feeder cattle are difficult to find at this time of the year.
It is interesting to note that the feeder cattle futures for this coming October are approaching historical highs.
Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.