Upwards of 80 young contestants will rope and ride this weekend at the annual Williams Lake Little Britches Rodeo.
In the field of contestants will be 22 local competitors, taking part in events ranging from barrel racing, to chute dogging, to dummy roping, at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds.
Little Britches rodeo is for competitors aged nine and under in the junior division and aged 10 to 14 in the senior division.
“Entries are high, and the rodeo is a good size,” said one of the local organizers, Allison Everett, who noted no spectators will be allowed and COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place throughout the weekend.
The events run Friday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, Aug. 9, beginning Friday, Aug .7 at 3 p.m. with the junior portion of the rodeo. Juniors begin again on Saturday at 9 a.m., before senior competitors take centre stage beginning at roughly 1:30 p.m. Saturday, then starting up again on Sunday at 9 a.m.
“The rodeo will be totally socially distanced and we have a COVID plan in place — we had to in order to host the rodeo,” Everett said, noting two Little Britches events have already taken place at the KXA Grounds in Kamloops, however, this will be the first outside of the River City.
“We have signs for distancing and, for the most part, rodeo is socially distanced as it is. We’ll have someone at the gate to make sure spectators aren’t coming in.”
Everett said while both the BC Rodeo Association and Canadian Professional Rodeo Associations were completely shut down due to the coronavirus, Little Britches has been able to proceed due to less of a reliance on ticket sales to fund payouts to competitors.
Organizers, however, are asking for participants to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We’ve asked campers to park themselves socially distanced, and parents are allowed to watch their children compete and then return to their campers,” Everett said.
Local competitors taking part in this weekend’s rodeo are as follows:
Ashton Petruk (Williams Lake), Riata Seelhof (Williams Lake), Paige Romaniuk (Williams Lake), Jaxson Styran (Williams Lake), Cooper Seelhof (Williams Lake), Kacey Huffman (150 Mile House), Will Roberts (Lac La Hache), Kagen Russell (Riske Creek), Deegan Styran (Williams Lake), Sam Holmes (Williams Lake), Brandon Loring (Riske Creek), Brady Wood (Williams Lake)
Renee Seelhof (Williams Lake), Reese Colgate (Williams Lake), Charlee Reid (Big Lake Ranch), Blaine Huffman (150 Mile House), Tryan Rivet (Williams Lake), Tanner Loring (Riske Creek), Denten Russell (Risek Creek), Douglas Styran (Williams Lake), Reid Rife (Williams Lake), Oliver Robbins (Alkali Lake).
Following the Williams Lake Little Britches Rodeo, events are slated to take place in Falkland Aug. 14-16), Clinton (Aug. 29-30) and Merritt (Sept. 12-13).