The indoor springtime rodeo residents have come to love in Williams Lake won’t skip a beat.
With a new committee and society formed, a group in Williams Lake is preparing to replace the now-defunct Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo with a new indoor rodeo at the same time in April.
The new Indoor Spring Classic Rodeo event is set for April 14, 15 and 16 and aims to attract the top cowboys and animal athletes by doubling the contestant prize money and changing up the rodeo format, said Roy Call, one of the organizers.
“We are going to put the best contestants in front of the crowd, which I think is going to make for a much better rodeo.”
Call, who has worked in the rodeo business for many decades as co-owner of C-Plus Rodeos stock contractor, is teaming up with Williams Lake businessman Richard Kohlen to head up the event.
Call said the original Williams Lake Rodeo Association was formed by himself, Randy Moe and Kohlen almost three decades ago. The then BCRA-sanctioned rodeo was produced by the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association with consistent attendance of more than 3,000 spectators over the weekend annually. The original group saw many new faces over the years continuing with the event until 2020 when Covid forced its cancellation. In 2022 an attempt was made to try and maintain the rodeo as an outdoor rodeo at the Stampede Grounds in August of 2022. Unfortunately, the time of the year and lack of volunteers forced the association to fold.
“We feel now is the best time to restart the event at the same venue and date that was the original success for over two decades. We have formed the Interior Rodeo Event Association and have put together a group of dedicated rodeo people, old and new that want to see the new Indoor Spring Classic Rodeo the success it was,” said Call.
“Williams Lake is a solid rodeo town with a long rodeo history and exceptional support. Many national champions have come from our area, and we are recognized throughout the rodeo world as a city that rolls out the red carpet for rodeo fans and competitors.”
Call said the Cariboo Memorial Complex in Williams Lake has been secured by the group. Rink 1 will be transformed into a rodeo arena, while Rink 2 will offer music, food, beverages and the Saturday night barn dance with One in the Chamber.
The layout of the event will be unique being an open rodeo, not a BCRA-sanctioned event, where competitors will be invited to compete for top ten in each event over two performances on Friday and Saturday and a slack and those final 10 in each event will have a final performance on the Sunday rodeo.
The rodeo will also have an instant replay board. Fan favourite Tyson Pietsch will be the rodeo announcer.
Call said they looked to the Quesnel Rodeo Association to bring in improvements for the Indoor Spring Classic Rodeo.
“Putting the wind back in the sails of the spring indoor rodeo is our commitment and we are determined to produce a top-notch event that the community will be proud of. A dedicated group of people along with the support from the community will make this rodeo a great success.”
Read More: No more Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo; organizers cite lack of volunteers