Two hundred and thirty five roping teams competed for the chance at some top notch prizes at Alex Fraser Park on Saturday (Mar. 30).
The 2019 Quesnel Quesnel Team Roping Club Finals saw contestants win over $7,000 in prize money as well as rifles, saddles, knives, blankets and a sharp looking belt buckle.
Club president, Gary Nicholson, says the most impressive performance of the day was that of Breanna Billy from Williams Lake.
“She cleaned house,” he says, “She won second and fourth in the number eight, she won the number three and down buckle and she won the ladies high point bit for the day.”
What is most impressive, Nicholson adds, is the young rider has only taken up team roping this winter.
“We’re real proud of her.”
Headers and heelers, brought their horses and lassoes from as far away as Vanderhoof and Vernon to vie for an opportunity to showcase their roping skills.
The teams of two lined up on their horses next to a cattle chute waiting for a steer to be let loose.
Headers aimed to rope the head of the animal, while heelers tried to lassoe the back hooves.
The contests are split into teams of eights and elevens.
An eights team is made up of a header and a heeler with a combined rating of eight. So, say a header who is ranked as a three and a heeler, who is ranked as a five.
The elevens would be more experienced ropers, with combinations of fours and sevens or fives and sixes making up teams.
Harley Antoine and Dustin Shields won the rifles for top number 11 header and heeler respectively. Although Shields did not finish at the top of the pack for heelers, he was the next in line for prize eligibility.
In the number eight category, Jeremy Farmer and Kyle Solomson took home a pair of gorgeous saddles to commemorate their victories.
“He had never won anything before,” Nicholson says of Vanderhoof’s Solomson, “He’s been roping on and off for a couple years and this is his first win.
“And that’s what our mission was set out to do.
“To get people to come back and get young ropers involved and it definitely worked.”
Although the winter season is now in the books there will still be team roping to follow for fans of the sport.
The Quesnel rodeo will host a roping and John Hancock is planning on holding three or four events over the course of the summer too.