First BCBRA finals held in Quesnel in 20 years runs smoothly

Jody Gilson competes in the open category at the British Columbia Barrel Racers Association Finals at Alex Fraser Park. For more photos and a story, please see pages A9 and B11. Karen Powell photo
The Alex Fraser Park grounds were covered in trucks and horse trailers this past weekend, as hundreds of riders from across the province competed in the British Columbia Barrel Racers Association Finals Aug. 16-18. Karen Powell photo
Darlene Cross competes. Karen Powell photo
Debbie Roch races around the barrel. Karen Powell photo
Emma Langevin races home. Karen Powell photo
Gabrielle Fouty races around the second barrel. Karen Powell photo
Taylor Cherry competes in the open racing. Karen Powell photo
Teresa Pedersen races out of the turn. Karen Powell photo
Riding RNR Smoke N Arrows, Coulter Gould competes in open racing Friday afternoon. Lindsay Chung photo
Kristina Leduc and Chex Out Chics get around the second barrel during Friday’s open racing. Lindsay Chung photo
At right, Tara Schiller and Crow compete in the open division Friday afternoon. Lindsay Chung photo
Vanessa Leggett and Cowboys Lady Judge race towards a 17.475 in Friday afternoon’s open racing. Lindsay Chung photo
Vanessa Leggett and Cowboys Lady Judge race towards a 17.475 in Friday afternoon’s open racing. Lindsay Chung photo

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

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