Greg Sabatino/Tribune file photo The Wild West Riders will be riding in the grand entry during three exciting performances at this weekend’s 28th annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22.

Wild West Riders ready to gallop into hearts of rodeo fans

When this weekend’s 28th annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo blasts off, the Wild West Riders Drill Team will be packing the flags in the grand entry to kick off all three days of action.

The local drill team has been hard at work for the past eight weeks honing in its routine, and is excited to help launch the BC Rodeo Association Season this Friday, April 20-22, in its hometown.

“We’re ready,” said Wild West Riders coach Nicole Roberts. “We made a few adjustments Sunday night and we’re ready to go. We’ll have 12 riders going into indoor.”

In preparation, the group has been practicing at Eagle View Equestrian Centre to dial in its performance.

Being indoors at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex does present its challenges, Roberts said, however, added Eagle View Equestrian Centre has been a perfect venue to practice at.

“We make it work,” she said. “Compared to say, the Stampede, the crowd plays a big factor [being so close], and coming from being light outside to adjusting to inside the arena can be a bit tough for the horses, and just sound wise.

“That’s one of the reasons we like to practice at Eagle View. We’ve got the sound system in there, people can sit up top in the bleachers and watch, so it’s more of a similar feel going into the indoor rodeo.”

The Wild West Riders have been opening the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo for the past three years, and will be carrying in all of the sponsor flags, as well as the B.C., Canadian and American flag, plus will perform a short drill for the audience.

Following the indoor rodeo, the Wild West Riders are scheduled to ride at the Little Britches Rodeo in 100 Mile House in May and, also, at this year’s Williams Lake Stampede.

“It’s always nice to perform at our hometown rodeos,” Roberts said.

“I think that brings a lot of excitement. Everyone’s got their family there cheering them on, and they can all come watch.

“We’re definitely looking forward to it. We’re excited. Our first rodeo of the year is always a lot of fun.”

Friday’s opening rodeo starts at 6 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. starts both Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for the rodeo are $15 for adults, $8 for youth (6-14 years) and seniors, and children five and under are free. Family passes and weekend passes are also available.

For more on the WLIR call 250-267-9915, e-mail wlindoor@shaw.ca or stop by the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo office at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex during the week from noon until 6 p.m.

They also have a Facebook page at ‘Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association.’

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