It’s been a busy past two months for members of the Wild West Riders as the equine drill team has been dialling in its routine in preparation for this weekend’s 29th Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo.
Nicole Roberts, coach of the Wild West Riders Drill Team, said the group of 12 performing at the indoor rodeo have been working hard training since February coming up with a fresh routine. This will be the riders’ fourth consecutive year performing in the grand entry at the rodeo.
“It’s going to be good,” Roberts said. “And we’re excited to get down there to ride.”
Riders this weekend will include many familiar faces to Cariboo rodeo fans including: LeeAnn Crosina, Nikki Miles, Cynthia English, Denise Little, Jaime Carrier, Katie Smith, Victoria Savile, Shaylin Leclerc, Alicia Vogl, Stacey Schick, Jessica Herrick and Al Wilson, while other team members/spare riders are Roberts, Bawnie Ward, Mariam Schilling and Emilie Nichols.
“We practice about two hours every week and come up with a drill and get everybody prepped and ready. It’s definitely a little bit of a challenge when you’ve got a whole group of people, but once everybody gets going and on the same page as a group it’s pretty easy to get people moving together.”
Being inside the rodeo arena at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex does present its challenge as far as lighting goes for the horses, however, Roberts said being able to train at Eagle View Equestrian Centre indoors certainly helps.
“It takes the horses a second to adjust and then there’s the noise level inside the arena,” she said. “Everything stays inside, so that plays a little bit of a factor, too.”
All things considered, however, Roberts said everyone is chomping at the bit to get out there to perform this weekend.
“I love the whole thing,” she said. “But it’s really fun that we get to perform at our local rodeo and then we’ll be selling 50/50 tickets to people we all know and can go around and mingle. The whole thing is just a lot of fun, and it’s a good time to get out and be social in the spring.”
The group has a few other dates planned for this year’s rodeo season including the Little Britches Rodeo in 100 Mile House during the May long weekend, and will also be performing at this year’s Williams Lake Stampede.
“We’re super excited to be performing and we can’t wait to see everybody there and to stop by to say hi.”