100 Mile House’s Little Britches Rodeo was a smash hit last weekend.
The rodeo broke records as close to 150 competitors from the ages of three to 16 came out to compete in several events including dummy roping, goat tail tying and steer riding. Co-ordinator Amanda Harvey said it was “overwhelmingly awesome” to see so many children and their families participate in the event.
“It’s an event for kids, so it’s your future rodeo stars getting their start,” Harvey said. “We have competitors from all over British Columbia. If we’re going to see rodeos continue it’s going to come from these amazing kids and their parents who come out to do all these sorts of events.”
Harvey said admission was free this year so all of 100 Mile House could come and cheer the competitors on. She noted that the weather also cooperated nicely throughout the weekend.
Beaver Creek’s Finn Zirnhelt, 10, said Little Britches was the perfect birthday party for him and his cousins. The weekend marked the first time Finn has competed in a rodeo and it left a positive impression on him. He competed in dummy roping, stakes and goat tail tying with his horse Smokey.
“Goat tail tying was good but my goat sat down and the tail got stuck under so I had to pull it up. Then my pre-tied knot undid so I had to retie it, which wasn’t the best, but I still got 19 seconds,” Finn said. “This is my first rodeo, so I’m having fun.”
Bridge Lake’s Oland Vickers, 14, also made his rodeo debut this weekend. Vickers was one of several senior competitors who took their first steps into bull riding by mounting a steer. Even though he was thrown off early, he said the experience was awesome.
“It’s fun, I’d probably do it again,” Vickers said. “I drew a pretty good steer for my first time. I’ve been told lots of different things about being in the chutes but it makes it seem a lot worse than it really is. Once you get your mind set to do it, you’re pretty good for it.”
Finn, who helps out on his family’s ranch near Williams Lake, said the competition was more or less what he was expecting. He plans to compete again next year and eventually become a professional rodeo performer, with an eye on becoming a team roper.
Vickers said he’d like to give steer riding another try at a future event. He said the ride itself combined with all the competitors behind the chute makes it a welcoming sport.
“If you’re thinking of trying it, I’d say do it.”