The Quesnel Roping Club has its fair share of champions, including Russell Glassford, Cliff Allen and Ryan MacNaughton.
This year, the club has asked Ryan MacNaughton to put on a series of roping clinics for local youth who have an interest in roping, either breakaway roping or team roping.
“He’s absolutely amazing,” secretary of the Quesnel Roping Club Chandra Lawlor said, pointing to MacNaughton as he showed the gathered youth the finer points of throwing a lasso.
MacNaughton, a header in team roping, holds the B.C. title for the last five years running.
“I’ve been at it since I was a little kid,” he said with a modest chuckle.
Although he is obviously an accomplished roper, MacNaughton did admit the roping clinics, where all eyes are on him are a test.
“I get more nervous teaching than I do competing,” he said with a shrug.
The clinics are designed to introduce youth to roping and provide them with the proper techniques, especially their swings and deliveries, MacNaughton explained.
The clinics start with handling the lasso rope with practice targets on the ground and then move up to practicing while riding a horse.
Safety is also at the forefront of the roping clinics, MacNaughton stressed.
“Once we get on the horses and everything gets going, stuff starts happening fast,” he said.
“Our thing here is to be safe and try as hard as you can.”
MacNaughton advises the roping novices success in the early goings is implementing the proper technique and not necessarily roping the calf.
“That will come with time,” he said.
To help raise funds for the clinics, rental fees for the arena at Alex Fraser Park and other club activities, the Quesnel Roping Club is hosting a New Years Eve dance at the Bouchie Lake Hall.
In addition to a buffet and plenty of two-stepping and line dancing, the evening also features a live auction, a 50/50 draw as well as a toonie auction, Lawlor said.
In addition to the New Years Eve dance, the club is also looking for corporate sponsors to help them achieve their goal of $10,000
The tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Rocky’s and Circle S. For information contact Lawlor at 250-249-0084, or Santania Grant at 250-255-1055.