Williams Lake High School Rodeo Club athletes Ryan Roberts (from left), Cordell Pinchbeck and Nic Flinton — all Grade 12 students in the lakecity — hang out behind the bucking chutes Sunday at the Williams Lake High School Rodeo. (Greg Sabatino photos)

Williams Lake plays host to best young rodeo athletes at annual high school rodeo

It was a busy weekend for athletes and their families at the annual Williams Lake High School Rodeo.

It was a busy weekend for athletes and their families at this weekend’s annual Williams Lake High School Rodeo.

Hundreds of rodeo athletes from throughout the province converged in the lakecity at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds for the three-day event, which began Friday and Saturday morning with a junior rodeo, before switching gears into the senior high division Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

And as always, longtime Williams Lake High School Rodeo announcer Willie Crosina was there both days calling the action from the VIP announcer’s booth.

From the Cariboo, junior high school competitors included Will Roberts (junior saddlebronc riding, boys goat tying, ribbon roping, boys breakaway roping, team roping and chute dogging), Paityn Rogers (barrel racing, pole bending), Kagen Russell (boys goat tying, boys breakaway roping, chute dogging), Brandon Loring (chute dogging) and Brady Wood (chute dogging).

In the senior high school rodeo representing the Cariboo were: Ryan Roberts (saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, team roping), Nic Flinton (saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping), Cordell Pinchbeck (bull riding), Michael Gulbranson (bull riding), Brianna Billy (barrel racing, breakaway roping, pole bending, team roping), Hailey Waterhouse (barrel racing), Conway Pinchbeck (tie-down roping, steer wrestling), Brock Everett (tie-down roping, steer wrestling), Anna Best (goat tying, pole bending) and Reese Rivet (barrel racing).

While final results weren’t yet available, a pair of Cariboo cowboys scored big Saturday in the senior high school rodeo.

Grade 12 student athlete Ryan Roberts managed to hang on as the lone cowboy during the saddlebronc riding event to pick up the win with a 62-point ride.

“It wasn’t that great of a ride but everybody else bucked off,” Roberts said Sunday where, unfortunately, he was unsuccessful on day two of the senior rodeo.

“Today I don’t know what happened. I was close and then just fell off [right at the end].”

Roberts said he’s focused on accumulating as many points as he can in his final season of rodeo and added he’ll see what happens.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s something different [saddlebronc riding]. I like it a lot better than roping — a little more adrenaline, I guess.”

READ MORE: Indoor Rodeo kicks off season in style

Asked what he enjoys about competing at home in Williams Lake, Roberts said it’s always fun to be around friends and family.

“It’s pretty fun, and it’s a great rodeo,” he said. “Lots of people come to watch.”

Fellow Grade 12 cowboy Nic Flinton, after being bucked off his bronc in the same event both days, still had a smile on his face Sunday.

“This is my second year [saddlebronc riding],” he said. “My friends, mostly Cordell Pinchbeck, got me into it. I rode steers first couple years and now bronc riding, and I love it a lot.”

Flinton also said it was nice to have friends and family in the stands cheering them on.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. ‘It’s nice for the family to come watch.”

Pinchbeck, meanwhile, brought home the title Saturday in the bull riding event, however, wasn’t able to hang on for the full eight seconds Sunday.

Asked what he thought of the weekend and the win, Pinchbeck said he was pleased.

“It went pretty good,” he said.

More results from the Williams Lake High School rodeo will be posted here once they are available.


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The flag carriers ride around the rodeo arena during the grand entry.

Nic Flinton attempts to hang on in senior boys’ saddle bronc riding Sunday.

Ryan Roberts, Saturday’s winner in the saddlebronc riding event, explodes out of the bucking chute Sunday where, unfortunately, he scored a no score after being bucked off just before the whistle.

Ryan Jasper of Riske Creek bull fights Sunday morning during the Williams Lake High School Rodeo, working to help keep the athletes safe inside the arena.

Justin Harris of Courtenay, B.C., goes for a ride Sunday in bull riding.

Williams Lake’s Cordell Pinchbeck, after winning the bull riding event Saturday, didn’t quite have the same luck Sunday morning.

Brianna Billy in barrel racing. (Patrick Davies photo)

Brianna Billy in barrel racing. (Patrick Davies photo)

Reese Rivet in barrel racing. (Patrick Davies photo)

Reese Rivet in barrel racing. (Patrick Davies photo)

Willie Crosina calls the action from the announcer’s booth Saturday at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo. (Patrick Davies photo)

Brianna Billy competes in breakaway roping. (Patrick Davies photo)

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