Rain and mud set the tone for a soggy 63rd Annual Bridge Lake Stampede amateur rodeo, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of entrants and spectators.
The Bridge Lake Community Club hosted the rodeo and club president Jaime Law says entry numbers were near normal, despite the weather, and the muddy arena just added to the entertainment factor.
Brady Smith, 17, of Bridge Lake was named the All Around Cowboy after winning the Bareback Riding event and taking third in Men’s Cow Riding. Smith also competed in Bronc Riding but was bucked off.
“He’s just a young guy, and it’s good to see,” Law says.
He adds it’s getting more difficult for young people to get involved in rodeo because there are fewer ranches, and unless children grow up on a ranch, they have little opportunity to learn about rodeo.
Brianne Birch of Salmon Arm was the All Around Cowgirl, with a win in Breakaway Roping. Her family has a long history with the Bridge Lake area and her descendants were longtime members of the community club.
Keely Cahill of Clinton was the winner in Open Steer Daubing and Emmit Beeds won Junior Steer Riding.
In Peewee Barrels, Sidney Schweb posted the winning time and Bacardi Zimmerlee of Clinton took the top money in Junior Barrels.
Barry LeBourdais of Kamloops won Men’s Cow Riding and the Bull Riding event, while Bridge Lake cowgirl Marissa Peter was winner of the Senior Barrel Riding event.
Joe Isnardy, from the Chilcotin won Calf Roping and Jessica Fremlin of 100 Mile House was the victor in Junior Steer Daubing. The Team Roping top time went to Miles King and Shane Lougheed.
On the lighter side, fleet-footed Eddy Kennedy of Lone Butte took home a weaner pig as his prize in the children’s Pig Scramble. He had the choice of $50 cash or the pig, and chose the latter.
New on the agenda, and huge hits this year were the Men’s and Women’s Whiskey Races. Contestants had to chase a calf around the muddy arena, en-mass, and take a ribbon from its tail. Each of the two events had approximately 25 competitors who fiercely fought for the win.
“It was really funny,” says Law. “They really got to wrestling over the ribbon and there were some fairly muddy women coming out of the arena.”