“Famey” earned herself many biscuits and a horsey spa for her excellent performance. Roughstock Studio photos

Brooke Wills wins CFR barrel racing title

Local barrel racer and horse Fames to Blame take home big bucks from Red Deer competition

Brooke Wills and her horse, Fames to Blame, just took home the biggest barrel racing victory of their short time together, winning first place at the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in Red Deer, Alta., last week (Oct. 29-Nov. 3).

Wills, who grew up in Quesnel, has been racing on “Famey” since August of 2018, and the pair have been electric together.

The CFR barrel racing competition took place over six days, with the team racing once on each day.

While day one did not go as planned — she knocked over two of the barrels and finished in 12th place out of 12 riders — Wills stayed resolute.

“I wasn’t too worried,” she says. “I knew I just needed to make some simple changes and everything would work out.

“Going into it, I just wanted to make a little money; I didn’t care how much, I just didn’t want to get skunked.”

Win money she did.

Wills halved her result (sixth place) on day two, finishing just outside of the money, but then halved it again for a $5,000 pay day on day three.

At this point, she and Famey had the feel of the course and were ready to make their move.

“She really got the arena down pat, and I got my timing down and [once it was over], I really felt like she could have gone a couple more rounds.

“We definitely weren’t ready for the weekend to end.”

The two finished first on day four and day five, second on day six and won it all, claiming over $35,000 in prizes.

“To end up winning two rounds and placing in two others and then winning the championship just blew my expectations out of the water,” Wills says.

“To be honest, I didn’t want to put any expectation on myself or my horse going into the contest. I just wanted to let it happen, so to get this end result is amazing.”

The victory, which is Wills’s greatest achievement in the sport, came against some incredibly talented competition.

“It was such a tough group of girls,” she says. “You had girls going to Calgary and the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) and past world champions. But they were all so nice. They helped look after Famey when I had to go do interviews. It’s a competitive sport, but they make sure that your horse is looked after.”

From here, the winning pair will be competing in Regina at the Maple Leaf Circuit finals at the end of November. Famey will get December off, and then they will travel down to Arizona and Texas to compete at some big competitions in the southern U.S.

Wills is grateful for all the well wishes she has received from her friends and family in Quesnel.

“The support from everyone has been overwhelming, and it’s so hard to respond to everyone, but I really do see everyone’s messages,” she says.

“It was great to hear from all the people I went to school with and the people who’ve known me since I was little in Quesnel.

“It’s really awesome to bring this title back to B.C.”

READ MORE: Quesnel bullrider wins BCRA Rookie of the Year honours


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run participants re-live part of Cariboo history

Mushers will be sworn in as official mail carriers Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. in downtown Quesnel

Forestry Ink: Developing a local market for biochar

Regular columnist Jim Hilton shares more information about biochar

Quesnel youth compete on the slopes

Quesnel athletes recently raced in the U16 Teck Open at Panorama Mountain Resort

Barlow Creek Volunteer Fire Department needs new fire truck to meet certification

The CRD is holding an Alternate Approval Process to approve using 10-year financing for the purchase

Quesnel Junior School architecs will be in town next week as design work moves ahead

CHP Architects is finalizing the schematic designs for the new junior school

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read