FARRELL CREEK, B.C. – The 19th Halfway River Rodeo wrapped up on Sunday in the pouring rain, but a little mud and cold didn’t scare off the rodeo die-hards.
Vice president of the Halfway River Rodeo Club, Jeffery Metecheah, says the rodeo events on Sunday were a mess, but the show went on.
“It started raining on Saturday night, and by Sunday, it was just a bowl of soup and mud. But, we had to carry on with it because we had to give Sunday’s purse away and give the buckles away, so we couldn’t stop there,” said Metecheah. “Sunday was a little muddy, but other than that; it was a great weekend. Nobody got hurt, and it was just a fun, fun weekend.”
With busloads of Elders coming on Saturday, Metecheah says he was thankful that the weather was nice.
“On Saturday, we had Elders from Mcleod Lake and Elders from the Dawson Creek Friendship Centre. I just thank the Creator that we had good weather and that it wasn’t freezing.”
The rodeo was fully stocked with competitors, making for some long days.
“Some of the timed events were filled up. When you come here for the rodeo, it’s an eight-hour performance; it’s a full day. We started at 11 a.m. and finished the rodeo by 7 p.m., and then there were handgames and the horseshoe tournament, so it was a busy couple of days.”
On Saturday afternoon, the handgame tournament drew a big crowd.
“We started Saturday afternoon, it went until dark, and we finished it up on Sunday.”
Metecheah’s team came in second place, and Bonnie Rohel’s team won the handgame tournament.
The team of Troy, Dan and Gordie Lambert won the horseshoe tournament.
After all the organizing, Metecheah says it was worth the work and long days to see familiar faces and new ones at the rodeo.
“Just putting everything together really brought out the crowd; we had full stands on Saturday. On Sunday, some people went home, but the die-hards stuck it out with us, and we managed to pull off another excellent rodeo here.”
Metecheah says it was nice seeing his good friend’s son perform well in the bull riding.
“Auzyn Corr won the bull riding on Saturday with an 82 point ride on Too Cool, and he went on to win Sunday with an 80 point ride in the mud. He got a pile of cash and got a belt buckle too, so I was pretty happy for all that. He’s a really good kid with a good head on his shoulders, so I was really, really happy for him.”
The other highlight was catching up with all the old rough stock riders.
“We had past world champions, Canadian champions, old NRA rodeo champions here, and it was just kind of like an old school rodeo. All the old-timers were here; it was really good.”
Now that the 19th edition has finished, the organizers have earned a well-deserved rest before plans for the 20th Halfway River Valley Rodeo take shape.
“With all the sponsorship and all the people coming forward to help us and join us, it’s really humbling to be a part of a sport where there are no contracts. It’s just good old human try and grit and determination, and a little bit of toughness. Big thanks to my late uncle, Bernie Metecheah and Jasper, who got us the arena in the first place, and we’ve come a long way.”
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