There was plenty of dust at Rick Loomis’ arena, last Wednesday evening, but that didn’t take the smiles off the faces of the 35 or so gals on hand for a bit of barrel racing and pole bending.
Chelsea Brears, president of the Kersley Horse Club and a couple of friends, decided to run three Barrels and Poles events this summer so local barrel racers and pole benders had a place to compete.
For barrels and poles, competitors were divided into four divisions, based on their times.
The first division includes the rider with the fastest time and riders within 0.499 seconds.
Wednesday, Jodie Gilson claimed top spot in division-one barrel racing, rounding the barrels in 15.651 seconds, just ahead of Savanah Watson with a time of 15.994 seconds.
Second division riders, explained Melissa Sword, included riders with times between 16.151 and 16.650 seconds.
Dianne Erdman took first place in second division competition, with a time of 16.296 sec.
Chelsea Brears and Wendy Braaton finished second and third, respectively.
In division three competition, Breanne Lemieux took 17.121 sec. to round the barrels to take top spot, followed by Lori Carifelle and Debbie Roch, respectively.
In division four, Nicole Hoessl finished ahead of the pack with a time of 17.763, with Lori McKenzie and Alicia Colton hot on her heels with second and third-place times of 17.768 and 17.818, respectively.
With entry fees of $15 for peewees, $20 for juniors and $25 for the open category, the focus was on enjoying the competition.
Of course it never hurts that a good run is also rewarded with a modest payout.
The actual amount of the payout, Brears explained, depends on the number of competitors in each category.
Using the four division format, Sword explained, gives more competitors a chance of winning some money.
In the pole bending competition, Wendy Braaton took first place in the open division.
Dianne Erdman and Lori McKenzie followed in second and third place, respectively.
In the junior barrels, Savanah Watson took first in first division, Shayla Arnold took the second division and Taylor Brears took the fourth division.
Riding for the young lasses and women, including Brears, is second nature.
“I was pretty much born in the saddle,” Brears said.
“I rode as a baby with my grandpa.
“As soon as I could ride on my own, I was off.”
Brears, who travelled the province representing Quesnel as Quesnel High School Rodeo Queen, has competed across B.C., admitted her favourite event is pole bending.
Given the success of the first three events, Brears and her friends are considering hosting a few more Barrels and Poles events in September.
Although the set ups are simple, organizing and putting on such events requires much help, Brears said.
“We couldn’t have done it without Rick Loomis,” Brears said.
Also on her list of thank-you’s were Melissa Sword, Lori and Kathy McKenzie, Trish Wesner, Debbie Roch, Darlene Davis, Randelle Langevin, Susan and a slew of other volunteers.
Local barrel racers are in action this weekend as Kamloops hosts the BC Barrel Racing Association finals, Aug. 18-21.