The combined effort requires a great deal of precision and coordination

Quesnel Roping draws big numbers

Teams from as far away as Vanderhoof and Cache Creek took part

Quesnel Team Roping Club had a larger than usual turnout to its third roping of the season last Saturday (Dec. 15).

Sixty-six teams competed in the 11s group, while 58 took their chances in the eights.

Russ Glassford and Riley Olin took first place for the 11s and Lareina Ketlo and Jeremy Farmer came out on top among the eights.

The pairings with the overall fastest run are also awarded some smoked salmon. Harley Antoine and partner Ryan Hume took the honours for the eights, while Nicholson and Dustin Shields grabbed the fishy prize for the 11s.

The teams, which are a combination of a header and a heeler, are responsible for joining forces to rope a calf as quickly as possible.

They line up on opposite ends of a chute and wait for the calf to be released and then it’s go time.

Headers will attempt to lasso the head or horns of the target, while the heelers aim for the rear legs.

Teams that compete in the eights are made up of a header and a heeler whose skill ratings add up to eight.

For instance a header who is ranked as a three could team up with a heeler who is ranked as a five, or two fours could join forces.

The same is true of the 11s, who are typically made up of more skilled ropers.

The parking lot of Alex Fraser Park was full with neatly parked trailers on an unseasonably warm day.

Gary Nicholson, the club’s president, says teams came from as far away from Cache Creek and Vanderhoof to take part in the British Columbia Team Roping Association (BCTRA) sanctioned event.

The area itself smelled sweetly of the animals within it.

Riders lined up to the left of the chute to watch their competition and ready themselves for action.

Young boys poked and prodded the cattle in the chute to move them along.

Each run gave onlookers a brief rush of adrenaline as the team worked together to subdue the calf.

Although the odds seemed stacked against the horned targets, what with four creatures working together to grab them, they do manage to avoid being snagged fairly regularly.

Spectators are welcome to come watch the rodeo sport at no cost.

The next roping will be January 19, 2019.

READ MORE: Quesnel Roping Club holds seasons first class of team roping clinic

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Club president, Gary Nicholson (right) is also a savvy competitor.

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