The British Columbia Barrel Racers Association (BCBRA) held its largest event of the year in Quesnel for the first time in over 20 years this weekend (Aug. 16-18).
The parking lot of Alex Fraser Park was jam-packed with trailers, trucks and camper vans as the best barrel racers from across the province descended upon the town to see who would emerge on top.
Association president Bridget Rosette says the 441 entries into the final was a record, so they are extremely pleased with how the weekend went.
Classes racing included PeeWee, Junior, Open and Senior, so there were races for everyone who wanted to strut their stuff on the rodeo grounds.
While there were some issues working the kinks out of the system that resulted in a late night on Friday, they were able to re-adjust, and the rest of the weekend ran smoothly.
“We tweaked it for the Saturday, so it went really nice and fast,” says Rosette. “And Sunday was just as good.”
Conditions were a little wet in the park, but thanks to a little elbow grease and some careful grooming, the racers were not affected.
“It’s taken lots of maintenance and lots of volunteer hours,” says Quesnel’s Debbie Roch, who is the vice-president of the organization.
“So many people stepped right up to ensure that our ground stayed consistent throughout the weekend.
“We did have a little concern after the heavy rain [on Saturday] as far as how late it was going and with the PeeWees running, so we had to change some things and ran the Senior division [on Sunday].”
There was much praise for the host city by the BCBRA president.
“The City of Quesnel have been really supportive,” says Rosette. “They have gone above and beyond to have us come, so the association is very happy to be here.”
So much so that they are planning on coming back in 2020.
“The directors vote on the location every year based on the bids that we get,” explains Rosette. “So we had our AGM [on Saturday night] and it was decided that we are coming back to Quesnel for the 2020 finals.”
“It was a unanimous decision,” adds Roch.
For results from the weekend, check in with quesnelobserver.com.