May Days Rodeo ropes in all skill levels

Houston’s May Days Rodeo roped in riders from as far as Alberta to compete in their event. There are also events for beginners and kids.

Local horse club members had a practice gymkhana last week

Local horse club members had a practice gymkhana last week

Houston’s May Days Rodeo has roped in riders from as far as Alberta to compete in their events.

Horse Club member Tori Long says there are 50 riders from Terrace to Prince George coming to stir up dust at Four Seasons Park this weekend.

The rodeo is set up for all skill levels, whether you are a barrel racing master or have only warmed a saddle in the open range.

“We are expanding the breadth of the activities to include pretty much everybody who has a horse,” said Show Manager Deana Bell.

“It’s for the kids and to expose people to a variety of horse disciplines. It is a competitive yet friendly environment where anybody is welcome,” she said.

This year they offer a roping clinic taught by 2014 BC team roping champion Dustin Shields.

Shields is from Vanderhoof and has won 13 saddles and is season leader in calf roping in the BC Rodeo Association.

The clinic is for beginners to try their hand and for seasoned ropers to brush up their skills.

There will also be a cattle sorting clinic taught by Don Baker Friday at 6 p.m.

New this year, the event will also include classes of dressage, trail (obstacle course), and reigning (open and modified patterns) at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

For kids, there will be stick horse rodeo Friday and Saturday nights with lots of prizes to win, Bell said.

Kids will compete in three age groups, ten to twelve, seven to nine, and six and under.

The four-day event will be packed with barrel racing, break-away roping, cattle sorting and steer daubing and steer undecorating.

There will be a Jackpot Gymkhana Sunday afternoon and a Little Britches Gymkhana at 10 a.m. Monday.

A concession and bling vendors will be there as well.

The Ray Long Memorial ranch hand competition was renamed in honour of the Houston farmer who loved watching the May Days rodeo and passed away last June.

Tori Long says she is looking forward to the weekend.

What she loves most about May Days is developing friendships and meeting new people.

“It’s always a fun atmosphere,” she said.

The rodeo is at Four Seasons Park from 5 p.m. this Friday through to Monday.