The most western rodeo of the Canada Day long weekend, the 29th annual Bella Coola Rodeo attracted a large number of competitors and spectators.
Despite light rain falling on the first day, June 28, crowds kept their enthusiasm and spirits high to watch competitors from throughout B.C.’s Interior.
For visitors, the precipitous gravel highway descending into the Bella Coola Valley from Heckman Pass is always an adventure in itself.
The first day of the rodeo saw several local competitors come out on top in their respective events.
Saddle bronc rider Cliff Schuk of Tatla Lake, riding Birthday Boy, took the top spot with a 66-point ride ($500.50).
In steer wrestling Mike Hurst sealed the deal with a 15.8-second effort, good enough for a $591.50 payout to lead all bulldoggers.
Pee wee barrel racer Sydney Schuk of Tatla Lake, meanwhile, posted a 19.237-second time to win the day’s event.
Alyson Schuk, in ladies goat tying, managed a second-place result after a 12.8-second run. Meanwhile in junior goat tying, 150 Mile House’s Jessica Macdonald completed the feat in 28.2 seconds for second place.
Sydney captured her second of three first-place results on the day with a 14.1-second time in pee wee goat tail tying, before again taking first place in the pee wee pole bending event with a 23.271-second effort.
Day two of the rodeo saw the Schuks continue to perform as Cliff repeated his day-one feat — this time on Lone Wolf for a 69-point ride.
Alyson, in breakaway roping, finished second with a six-second-flat run.
Junior breakaway roper Jennifer Schuk picked up her first placing of the weekend, posting a 4.6-second time to finish second.
On day two Macdonald picked up her second second-place finish of the weekend in 17.953 seconds. Macdonald also finished second June 29 in junior goat tying (15.9 seconds)
Sydney, again in pee wee barrel racing, finished first (23.441 seconds), before winning the pee wee goat tying event (12 seconds) and the pee wee pole bending event (22.199 seconds).
The B.C. Rodeo Association circuit resumes this weekend with two rodeos — the Valemount Rodeo and the Pritchard Rodeo, both running July 12-13. For more on the BCRA visit www.rodeobc.com.