Peace Region youth ride and buck their way through Dawson Creek Spring Rodeo
Youth were included for the first time in the Dawson Creek Exhibition's Spring Rodeo. Over a two day span, 45 kids aged 7 to 19 from around the Peace Region competed indoors at the Ovintiv Events Centre. The Junior rodeo featured Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Team Roping, Steer Riding, Pole Bending and Goat Tying.
For many of the competitors, Friday and Saturday was their first time doing multiple events inside according to Connie Patterson, President of the Dawson Creek Exhibition Association.
"A lot of these kids might be in three or four ecents and its good for them to have a crowd just cheer them [on] and help them out. It's a nee experience for the kids as well."
Mia Pallister of Charlie Lake competed in Barrel Racing and Goat Tying and mentioned how much she enjoyed competing
"it's really good experience. Im just having fun out here. I went and did my runs, I had a clean run, that was nice for me. I just enjoy being out here and having the opportunity."
Landon Dowling of Chetwynd said he enjoyed having a local crowd cheering him along during the weekend.
"It's actually pretty good. I like the stands, I like the people, It's fun" said Dowling, "I love the energy of the crowd and just the sport itself".
Being indoors for the first time was not the only thing riders had to make adjustments for. The Exhibition experienced some troubles with the dirt being used for the infield.
Patterson said the spring snow that hit the Peace Region created less than ideal conditions.
“We’ve had two feet of snow on our on our ground that we've sifted and the horses were slipping on it. Of course that frightens the kids, and also frightens their horse, so they [had] to learn to control that.”
The two days of riding gave many of the youth involved more expereince and excitement heading in to the rest of the rodeo season.
Pallister saying she one day hopes to join the pro's while representing the Peace Region.
"[I'm] trying to eventually get to the Calgary Stampede or be a pro racer or something like that so just bigger rodeos in general."
The 100th annual Dawson Creek Fair, Rodeo and Exhibition takes place August 9 to 14. Thats the next chance to watch pro and junior rodeo action in Dawson Creek.