The 71st Kispiox Rodeo. (Nick Briere photos unless otherwise noted)

Cowboys of the world ride to Kispiox Rodeo

PHOTOS and STORY: 71st annual Kispiox Rodeo draws in competitors and spectators on a global scale.

The grandstands of the Kispiox Valley Rodeo arena were packed with large crowds June 2 and 3.

The 71st annual Kispiox Rodeo drew in competitors and spectators on a global scale this year.

“This weekend we had bronco riders from Australia, New Mexico, South Dakota, all over Alberta. We’ve had riders that have competed in the national finals rodeo, the Canadian finals, and then we have our hometown cowboys,” said Joy Allen, president of the Kispiox Rodeo Club.

The rodeo shows no sign of slowing down even as it passes its seventh decade.

“We’ve been doing it for 71 years – it’s one of the oldest rodeos in B.C. It’s one of the only old-fashioned rodeos left in Canada like this. Most rodeos you go to, you pay your money, the rodeo goes for about two hours, and you leave. This is one of the very few rodeos left where you can come and camp and dance on the grounds, just like they did 70 years ago,” said Allen.

“We’re the highest paying rodeo in the British Columbia Rodeo Association. We have the highest bronc riding money that’s ever been paid in a semi-pro association. We have some of the top bucking stock in Canada here.”

Allen is grateful for the committee and local communities that have played a huge role in making the event a success.

“Our community backs this like no other community, I don’t think, in B.C. We’re probably one of the most economically depressed areas here, and yet people are coming up. The community just supports community events so incredibly well, especially Smithers and Hazelton. It just blows my mind, every year they just do it, over and over and over again. That enables us to put up big prize money, which draws cowboys from all over the world,” she said.

“We’re so lucky here with the quality of competitors we have, and the quality of the stock, and the amount of prize money. Just amazing.”

Hundreds of people of all ages braved the gloomy weather to watch a variety of events, from bronco and bull riding, to barrel racing and wild cow milking.

There were several footraces on Sunday where spectators from different age groups could volunteer to compete by sprinting from one end of the arena to the other to vie for a cash prize.

Allen said one of the highlights of the rodeo is its family atmosphere.

“It’s so different because it’s so professionally run, with professional stock and personnel, and yet we’ve managed to keep this old-fashioned camaraderie – camping and dances, stuff like that,” she said.

“We had great attendance, good crowds, concessions were good … it was just a really, really successful weekend.”

 

Hannah Dehoog photo

Hannah Dehoog photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Cassidy Muir photo

Just Posted

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

This mountain of ours

An exhibit at Smithers Art Gallery explores Hudson Bay Mtn with paint and prose.

RCMP confirm death of Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Jessica comes home

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Most Read