The River Ranch team rode, roped and sorted its way to a top-eight finish in Edmonton, Alta., recently at the Farm Fair International Heritage Ranch Rodeo.
The eighth-place overall finish at the event, which took place Nov. 4-6, saw River Ranch cowboys and cowgirls Ed Russell, Racquel Russell, Chad Seelhof and Ricky Seelhof compete as one of just two teams from B.C.
“We did quite well,” said River Ranch team member Ricky. “We were second going into the finals out of 16 teams, then they completely reset the points so none of ours from before counted and we started all over again and ended up eighth.”
At the Heritage Ranch Rodeo teams competed in multiple events including ranch bronc riding, team doctoring, cattle sorting, branding, a ranch horse competition and a saddle horse race.
“Ranch bronc riding is different from rodeo bronc riding because you ride in your stock saddle — the regular saddle you ride in every day,” Ricky said.
“For team doctoring you’re given a cow — they’re numbered one to nine — and you have to head them and heel them, then you mark the animal where you would treat it like it was sick.”
In cattle sorting two team members take turns separating cattle into pens, all in a race against the clock, while just one team member competes in the ranch horse competition.
The eight-place finish now guarantees the River Ranch team an invite to next year’s Heritage Ranch Rodeo.
“We’re pretty happy to make it back,” she said.
Also at the event was a horse sale where Ed claimed the top-selling horse, which sold for $8,500.
“A huge thanks to River Ranch, owned by Tommy and Donna Ilnicki, and the Williams Lake Stampede Association for their kind sponsorship in helping us for our trip to Edmonton,” Ricky said. “We had a great time and are looking forward to representing B.C. again next year.”