150 Mile House cowboy Chad Braaten was dominant in both the junior breakaway roping and the open breakaway roping divisions at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo. Braaten won both divisions

150 Mile House cowboy Chad Braaten was dominant in both the junior breakaway roping and the open breakaway roping divisions at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo. Braaten won both divisions

Indoor rodeo sees sellout crowds

The 21st Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo saw sellout crowds, for three consecutive days, flock to the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

The 21st Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo saw sellout crowds, for three consecutive days, flock to the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

“I think this is one of the best years we’ve ever had,” said Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo president Shaun Oxtoby. “We were sold out every day.”

Oxtoby estimates around 4,000 people including competitors, spectators and family members took in the events from Friday to Sunday.

Three action-packed rodeo performances (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) — including an opening act featuring the Cariboo Cowgirls Drill Team, songs from local artist Charlie-Anne Erho and appearances by Miss Rodeo Canada Kezia Morrsion and Williams Lake’s own Rodeo Canada Princess Kirsten Braumandl — a sold out barn dance Saturday night and a B.C. Rodeo Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony Sunday helped round out the weekend’s festivities.

The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo is the second-largest BCRA event of the year.

Upwards of $30,000 was awarded over the weekend as rodeo athletes from B.C., Alberta and Washington battled it out for prizes in bareback riding, breakaway roping, junior steer riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.

At the BCRA’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony Sunday, past cowboy personalities and greats were honored for their contributions.

Gordon Woods (artistic category), Bill Downie (working cowboy/artistic category), Bruce Watt (competitive category), Doug White (competitive/artistic category) and the Wright family — Stan Wright, Iris Wright and Janet Wright were in attendance — were all recognized during Sunday’s rodeo intermission.

Prior to the rodeo hall of fame inductees were treated to an invitational luncheon at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Oxtoby added a special thank you is in order to the more than 100 volunteers who helped make the rodeo possible.

“We had people starting from Monday during the week prior all the way throughout the week,” Oxtoby said.

“Thanks to the volunteers, sponsors and fans and a special thanks to the City union workers who volunteered their time to bring the dirt in and out.”

For winners and local results see Thursday’s Tribune.