Terry McLeod, one of the event organizers, who is also currently constructing a brand new rodeo ground in Fort St. John, says the event won’t just provide a great show for those in attendance, but will also benefit a variety of local organizations.
McLeod says it’s critical the money raised stays within the community, and as a result, 30 per cent of the money made will go towards new equipment at the rodeo ground for the B.C. High School Rodeo Association with remaining funds going towards the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation and the Cowboy Crisis Fund, which provides financial assistance injured cowboys.
The event will also benefit the local economy quite nicely, as not only will hotels and restaurants benefit from the added traffic, but all of the equipment used to construct the bull riding arena will be local, as well, the majority of the bulls will be provided locally, something McLeod says is of the utmost of importance.
“This can’t be about anybody other than the community. The Daryl Mills Invitation is about giving back to the community where he’s from.”
The Invitational will be a two day event, beginning the evening of Saturday, April 20, which will be followed by a Saturday evening Dance in the Dirt, and will wrap up the following afternoon of Sunday, April 21.
Up to 30 riders will compete in the level ‘B’ event, which PBR riders will compete in for points, hoping to eventually make their jump to the level ‘A’ series.
The format for the event will run on two go rounds, concluding with a short go format, consisting of the top ten riders from the weekend’s results, who will try to earn as many points as possible during an intense eight seconds of bull riding.
Along with some action-packed competition and a fun-filled night of music, a variety of attractions will also be taking place to make the event as memorable as possible. Such attractions will include a beer gardens, seven time announcer of the year Joe Brown to call all the live action and a light and sound show put on by Rodeo Sound. The event will also feature three bull fighters to provide some additional entertainment.
Daryl Mills, former bull riding world champion and one of the original founders of the PBR, says it’s an honour to bring an event like this back to his home roots.
“I think it’s a great thing. Being a world champion bull rider, and a part of the PBR right from the beginning, I think it’s a great thing to be able to bring a main event to my home town. I know that there is a lot of local interest and a lot of local fan base that is based there that has kept in touch with me throughout the years.”
The North Peace Arena can seat 1600 people if sold to capacity, something McLeod says he feels the event can achieve due to the popularity of the sport in Fort St. John.
Tickets for the event are officially on sale, and can be purchased at Fort St. John’s 8 Seconds Western Wear. Tickets are $40 per day for the PBR event, $25 for the Saturday evening 19 plus dance, or VIP packages can be bought for $100, which includes all access for both Saturday and Sunday. Children five and under will receive free admission to the PBR event.
McLeod says the event is still looking for additional sponsors, and if interested, or are looking for more information, email Terry McLeod at Terry@thehorsepark.ca.