With the winter finally in the rearview, high school rodeo is back to take us for a ride through spring and into the summer. The B.C. High School Association’s North Region held its annual Rodeo Gala April 13 at the Pomeroy Sport Centre, the main fundraiser for the BCHSRA.
The gala brought in $29,000, up from the $25,000 raised in 2018. Both current and former cowboys and cowgirls were on hand to represent the association and celebrate the start of the spring season, as were city officials.
Acting mayor Lilia Hansen was on hand to announce the City of Fort St. John’s $5,000 to the BCHSRA to be used towards the hosting of the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals, in Chetwynd, June 8 and 9.
“Events like this are tremendously important. I love seeing all the athletes out here engaging the guests and community, and building skills they can use throughout their careers,” said Hansen.
Defending Canadian tie down champion Ben Jackson was on hand for the final time as a high school athlete, as the current Senior Boys All Around leader, with 95 points, will graduate after this season. Jackson currently leads the field in tie down roping with 29 points, one more than Tyler Pederson.
Jackson, along with the rest of the athletes, will resume competition this weekend, April 20 and 21, with two rodeos in Chetwynd. The North Region will return to Chetwynd next weekend, April 27 and 28, for another round of rodeos.
Tyler Bondaroff is the current Miss B.C. High School Rodeo, as she won the queen event last year. Currently in Grade 11, Bondaroff has one more year of high school rodeo ahead of her and is hoping to defend her queen event title. She also leads the senior girls in goat tying with 45 points, a half point more than Rylie Bondaroff.
— with files from Dave Lueneberg