Angie Mindus photo Wild Cowgirls Race organizer Monica Sellars is thrilled how far the popular race has come.

Wild Cowgirls Race at 2019 Williams Lake Stampede on track to be best yet

Entries filled within two hours of opening

For Monica Sellars, the only feeling as exhilarating as racing a horse is planning one.

Sellars is the organizer and brain behind the wildly popular Wild Cowgirls Race featured at the Williams Lake Stampede.

This summer will mark the sixth annual race, which as the name suggests features all female riders. On April 28 entries were opened for the 2019 race, and filled up in under two hours with 24 riders.

“Every year we’ve just gotten bigger and bigger,” Sellars said of the race. “It feels great. I’m very happy where it’s went, it’s where I wanted it to be when I first started it.”

Sellars, who owns and operates her own farrier business, came up with the idea for an all-female race in 2014 after the Pony Express Race she raced in failed to run in 2013 due a lack of entries.

She got approval from Stampede directors to run four flat races into the arena over the rodeo weekend, with no overall winner. The race thrilled fans, many of whom came just to see local cowgirls race, and the rest is history.

In 2015, Sellars expanded the race to 660 yards — the perfect length for a quarter horse or thoroughbred to compete. Sixteen riders entered looking for a chance to be the overall champion, and Sellars even pitched in the winning buckle.

Janice Sapp also came on board in 2015, helping Sellars to shape and evolve the race into what it is today.

Kaitlyn McClure won first place overall championship that year, followed by Lyndy Frieson in 2016.

In 2017 McClure took the championship again, and in 2018 Frieson almost won back bragging rights with a championship race that saw a near-photo finish at the end.

“It was a hell of a race,” Sellars said, noting McClure captured the championship in 2018 again.

McClure won’t be racing in 2019 but Frieson is one of five local women who signed up before all the entries filled, with the race attracting competitors from across B.C. and Alberta.

“I like to keep it first come, first serve.”

So what’s the secret to winning? A fast horse and a skilled rider, according to Sellars.

“Conditioning is everything, it’s like any athlete,” she said. “And really, you have to be gutsy to do it.”

This year, Sellars is very excited to be able to offer race buckles for the daily winners sponsored by Irish Excavating and Contracting and Longhorn Fencing, prizes for all riders, a buckle for the reserve champion sponsored by Aspell Contracting and a $2,200 championship saddle sponsored by Ellis Cattle Co. for the overall ‘Race for the Saddle’ winner.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Young Cariboo athlete shines on world stage

Triathlete Danika Robson is making her dreams come true

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Tatlayoko Valley post office remains community cornerstone

Through the years, different locations and postmasters this post office has served the community

DESTINATION: Desous Mountain flowing smoothly for cycling club

“After 25 years of work we have a real riding destination at Desous Mountain.”

Low mobility trails throughout the region opens up nature for everyone to enjoy

There are currently 22 trails in the network funded by the Cariboo Regional District

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Most Read