The Eagle View 4D Barrel Racers are ready to ride into the upcoming barrel racing season in Williams Lake.
Presently nearing the finish line of its bi-weekly winter jackpot series at Eagle View Equestrian Centre, 4D Barrel Racers fundraiser Susan Tritt said racing will continue on seamlessly into the spring and summer.
Weekly jackpots being held alternately at Eagle View Equestrian Centre and King’s Arena in Springhouse will follow the winter series and, to add to this, Eagle View Equestrian Centre will be hosting its annual Horsin’ Around in the Cariboo event May 4-5 , which includes a popular barrel race that sees barrel racers from throughout the province compete.
Shortly following Horsin’ Around in the Cariboo will be the Stampede Warm Up Jackpot June 14-15, followed by the Afterburn Slot Race June 16.
“In our sport the bigger the purses the more participants we can attract,” Tritt said.
“We’re hoping to promote the sport to increase tourism dollars to Williams Lake. So far each big race [we have coming up] has over 200 entrants.”
Currently, all scheduled races are BC Barrel Racing Association sanctioned, while some are Canadian Barrel Racing Association sanctioned, Tritt said.
“Although the bi-weekly and weekly jackpots mostly include barrel racers from the Cariboo, the three larger races see enough racers to fill the Stampede Grounds from the entire province and beyond,” Tritt said.
The weekly jackpot series will see riders compete for cash prizes, along with a to-be-announced grand prize — something Tritt said racers will be excited about.
“The prizes are phenomenal,” she said.
While many barrel racers have been busy competing throughout the winter months, Tritt said she expects to see some new, familiar faces out to the spring and summer races, and added it’s a great group of people to be around.
“The camaraderie in the barrel racing world is phenomenal,” she said.
Tritt encouraged anyone not competing to come out to spectate and to cheer on their favourite racers and horses.
“It’s an awesome sport for people to come out to watch,” she said. “You don’t have to participate to enjoy the sport.”
Tritt did note hosting large races of 150-plus competitors require many organizers, a great deal of time and money.
“We’re fortunate to have a strong volunteer base in Williams Lake,” she said.
“Due to the growth of popularity in the sport throughout the province our governing body (BCBRA) that we have come to rely on for financial support has reduced its funding to the number of races being offered, but we are still so grateful for the support we do get.”
She said therefore they are reaching out to the community for some assistance, and are offering sponsorship packages to promote businesses through display banners during races, advertising posters and company logos on its posters online and in print, plus recognition by the announcer during races.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring a race, or multiple races, they can contact Tritt at 250-267-5293 or Eagle View Equestrian Centre manager Lori Rankin at 250-392-2584.