Professional bull riding coming back to Fort St. John

The event would act as a fundraiser for the rodeo grounds McLeod is currently building, as well as raise money for local charities. It would also help prepare him for the first rodeo he's planning for next year.

"The PBR that we're putting on is a stepping stone to help donate some of the money back," he says, pointing out that it is registered as a charity event.

15 per cent of the money made by the event would go back to McLeod as a funding costs and 30 per cent will go towards new equipment a the rodeo ground for the B.C. High School Rodeo Association. The remaining funds would go towards the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation and the Cowboy Crisis Fund, which provides financial assistance injured cowboys.

Both McLeod and Daryl Mills believe it's about time that the Energetic City benefit from sponsors that are currently supporting the Dawson Creek Rodeo.

"When I write a cheque for a cover over a grandstand in Dawson… why?," asks McLeod. "We should be having that here in Fort St. John."

"I think the majority of the sponsorship was coming from Fort St. John for that event, as well as a good portion of the fans," says Mills. "That city is benefiting from it, and we aren't."

Mills adds that the event would be second in size only to the Canadian Bull Riding Finals, and will easily sell out, arguing, "We're going to bring really good quality bull riding to Fort St. John."

Councillor Trevor Bolin agrees that the bull riding and the rodeo will be very popular, as well as good for the community.

"Both events, I think, are really, really going to be received well by the community," he says. "I like it when I see two guys kind of pioneering something like this for the city, picking up where pieces may have been left off or may have been dropped years ago, and going to make world class events that everybody's going to enjoy."

McLeod is asking Fort St. John City Council to donate the use of the North Peace Area for the event, with future events to be held at the new rodeo grounds once they are completed. The 2,700 spectator grounds are apparently half built, and to be prudent, the first rodeo is now scheduled for June 2014. Once the budget is submitted, council will consider the request.

About Erica Fisher 4010 Articles

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.