High school rodeo provs coming to lakecity

For the first time in the history of high school rodeo in B.C., Williams Lake will host the 2011 British Columbia High School Rodeo Finals.

Ellis Smith

Ellis Smith

For the first time in the history of high school rodeo in B.C., Williams Lake will host the 2011 British Columbia High School Rodeo Finals.

The event will take place at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds from June 10-12, 2011 and will see the top 12 high school rodeo athletes in each event from both the north and south regions battle for the title of B.C. champion.

“A year ago B.C. high school rodeo was split into two regions — north of Quesnel and Quesnel and south,” said B.C. High School Rodeo Association president Sandy Chevallier. “Last year our first final with the top 12 from each region was held in Merritt for the second year in a row.”

Prior to that the event had always been held in Kamloops at the KXA.

“We had planned on going back to Merritt until an offer to hold it in Williams Lake came in from Connie Jasper this fall,” Chevallier said. “We looked at that and said, wow, we’d never even thought about moving this year.”

Williams Lake, she said, offers a more central location for all parties involved.

“All the kids get to compete at that arena [Stampede Grounds] during the regular season,” she said. “At Merritt, some of those kids never had a chance to compete there prior to the final, so it almost gave the kids in the south an advantage and this gives it a little bit of a more even playing field.”

The B.C. high school rodeo provincials will feature around 100 competitors.

“And with them come all their family members, grandparents and friends who come to watch,” she said. “It’s a big event for most kids to make the provincials finals.”

The top four finishers will also earn a position on the B.C. Team to compete at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, WY. in July. The top five athletes in each event there will qualify for the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals in Virden, MB. in August with an opportunity to earn scholarships and prizes.

“The volunteers in Williams Lake made it kind of an easy decision, or added to it,” she said. “Everyone that helps out in rodeo knows what they’re doing. It’s a good group of volunteers there.”

The high school rodeo provincials will also include a season leader awards reception, grad and scholarship banquet and the Miss B.C. High School Rodeo Pageant.

“The BCHSRA is confident this will be a great relationship and we will all be working together to host a quality event for the top high school rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in the province to compete at,” she said.

The BCHSRA will also be hosting its mid-winter meeting at the Overlander Convention Centre on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. and is open to all members.

Fore more information visit www.bchsra.ca.