More than twenty-five years ago a group of hard working people got together with an idea to bring a spring rodeo to Williams Lake. Many people said it could not be done but twenty-five years later we are still here and have the honour of being the second largest rodeo on the B.C. Rodeo Association circuit.
Looking back over the list of winners from that first rodeo, we have a large group of people still competing in our rodeo and still making money. Lake City Bernie Rivet won the bull riding the first year with a 75 on a bull called Flatline and Ray Woods placed second. Both these names still play a big part in our rodeo. Bernie has moved up from bull riding to become a top Rodeo Judge. Ray now is in charge of opening the chute gates for the cowboys when they nod there heads.
Then there is Allison Everett who made money in the Barrel Racing that first year. She is still competing and also finds time to be one of the hardworking Committee directors. Speaking of our committee and directors, we are so happy to have a few of the originals in our group. Lynda Philpot and Gwen Cyr have also been around since the beginning. There have been so many people involved over the years it would be impossible to list them all. We are known for our wonderful opening show at every performance. Over the years we have had some pretty amazing acts and we hope that you enjoy the show this year.
We can't forget another group who have been a big part of the success of this Rodeo. Roy and Earl Call of C+ Rodeos have been supplying thegreat four legged athletes since the beginning. Without the fantastic bucking stock and timed event stock we would not have the great show we have.
In 2006 the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society started holding an inductee ceremony during the intermission on Sunday afternoon. We are so honoured to host this ceremony. The people and ranchers who are recognized every year are the backbone of the ranching and rodeo way of life. Some of these names are still in our rodeo program today.
One thing very important to the rodeo family is supporting the younger people who are just starting out in this lifestyle. Over the years the Indoor Rodeo Committee has helped sponsor young rodeo stars heading down the rodeo trail. This is something we are proud to do and without these kids we would not have rodeos.
Other very important people on this rodeo team are our great sponsors. Without the support from local people and businesses and the city of Williams Lake this would not have been possible. The biggest thank you goes to you the spectators, the competitors, and to our outstanding team of volunteers. All of you have made this Rodeo the great event it is and we look forward to another twenty-five years.