Steer wrestling (Thom Barker photo)

Steer wrestling (Thom Barker photo)

Kispiox Rodeo is back in the saddle

No bull, the event is returning after a two year hiatus

Yeehaw, the Kispiox Rodeo is back and the purses are bigger than ever.

The event, dubbed the biggest little rodeo in the west, was cancelled two years in a row due to the pandemic.

But this year, the full BCRA rodeo is being planned with all the classic local events and will be held June 4 and 5 at Kispiox Valley Rodeo Grounds.

“We are over the moon excited,” said Andrea Vickers of the Kispiox Rodeo Club. “We are a tight-knit group, so the last three years have been challenging not having it, not only for the rodeo community but for the local economy as well because we bring in hundreds of people.”

The nonprofit organization relies heavily on sponsorships so Vickers said the club was worried the purses would be smaller this year because the pandemic has been hard on local businesses.

“We have large purses, some of the highest payouts in B.C. which is a big thing because we are way north so it helps to draw people up,” she added. “It is a huge trip to come up, towing horses and trailers is expensive so we always try to make our purses bigger.”

However, she thinks they were worried for nothing.

“So far we have found that people are stepping up and paying more than they ever have in the past. It is so overwhelming to get the support from the community,” she said. Because of that, they have actually increased their purses.

Vickers said she knows people are excited to come and watch and she is expecting a great rodeo with lots to see.

“The challenge we have is our space is limited, a lot of people have big rigs, we can’t get that much bigger because of the size of our grounds, we max out every year, and we are assuming the same will happen this year.”

The plan is to keep the 75th annual event fairly traditional with a beef barbecue, live dance, mounted drill team, and camping along the Kispiox River.