Clinton’s May Ball rodeo weekend wrapped up on Sunday, May 26 with a full day of sunshine and good old fashioned western sports. Saturday’s plethora of events included plenty of rain, but cloud cover couldn’t dampen the spirits of Clintonites or those who travelled from far and wide to enjoy the rodeo.
“We don’t have gate numbers yet, but attendance was really good,” said Katie McCullough, secretary for the Clinton and District Agricultural Association (CDAA). She estimated that roughly 450 people came through the rodeo gates each day.
Locals who placed in the weekend’s rodeo events include Clinton’s own Wyatt, McCullough’s son, (who placed second in steer wrestling), Shardy Allison (who placed third in steer riding), and Josh Cahill (who placed fifth in team roping with his partner Neil Antoine). Wyatt and Allison were both competing in their very first BCRA rodeo as open members rather than juniors. Fellow local Mattie Miller competed in her first rodeo as a peewee barrel racer, placing eighth.
Christoph Muigg took home $400 for first place in the bareback riding, Cole Churchill won over $800 in the saddle bronc, Nick Teixeira won $637 in the tie-down roping, and Willee Twan won $465 for first place in the steer wrestling. Keri Mikkelsen, Barb Beers, and Bobby Twan were the winning team in breakaway roping while Kale Mikkelsen took home first place in both the junior steer riding and the junior breakaway roping. Judy Hyde won $1,272 for her first place ride barrel racing and Kira Stowell won the junior barrel racing event.
Kenzie Lloyd won the peewee barrels and Steve Hohmann scored an 86 point ride on the bull Jagged Edge. The team of Riley Isnardy and Dustin Spiers each took home just over $1,200 for their team roping win. To view the full list of BCRA results and prize money earned, visit www.rodeosystem.com.
The 4-H steak dinner followed Saturday’s rodeo events, and Tennessee Walker’s performance was another highlight. “They were awesome,” said McCullough.
Tim Miller is the president of the CDAA and served as shoot boss during the rodeo. He was happy to bring back Sheep Riding and Mini Pony Bareback Riding for a second time this year for the younger participants.
The famous Packhorse Race returned this year after a noticeable absence when last year’s organizers didn’t receive enough entries to run the activity on Sunday. The race ran on Saturday this year, complete with four teams and one muddy arena.
The race closed Saturday’s events with a dramatic finish. One team struggled to overcome another as two cowgirls raced around the rodeo track, pack horses and saddle-bags in tow.
The race always begins with riders “asleep” in their sleeping bags on the ground, or in this case, in the muck. They must “wake up”, dress in their western wear, then ready their horses with tack before the other teams can do the same. Once the horses are readied, the chosen rider sets off on one loop around the track which surrounds the arena.
Teams consist of two people: one helps to ready the packhorse while the other rides their own horse with the second horse—the pack horse— in tow. Both riders who faced off on Saturday were female but were assisted by male partners. After a remarkable finish, the team that raced into first place was ultimately disqualified after losing some of the load from their packhorse. That put local Tom Bolster in third place, despite having rounded the track long after the two cowgirls.
Miller’s hopes for this year’s rodeo were to bring in more people, and it seemed those goals were met.
He explained the choice to bring in additional entertainment this year was in an effort to increase activity at the grounds:
Many families did just that, and plenty of locals stayed to enjoy Saturday’s dinner and dance after the rodeo.
“It’s a new band from Kamloops so they’re getting some exposure,” said Miller of the performers. “There are quite a few people coming just to listen to Tennessee Walker and if they’re good maybe we’ll get them for the dance next year.”
Miller brought the band Appaloosa back for another year to play the dance because people like them so much.
The adults-only barn dance followed the 4-H dinner, and included security guards, live music, and a late-night concession. The shuttle bus continued service into the wee hours to ensure everyone got home safely.