The annual Bow Island Agricultural Society Rodeo saw 450 participants over the August Long Weekend, an increase of over 150 riders from last year’s event.“It’s been a long two days,” Nora Van Tryp, the rodeo’s treasurer.
“We had to add an extra slack because we had a large increase in ranchers this year. We do approve an extra association, Foothills Cowboys Association (FCA), which probably brought on another 150 to 200 extra contestants from central Alberta.”
With the Bow Island rodeo, they are partnered with the Chinook Rodeo Association and co-sanctioned with the FCA and the Canadian Cowboys Association, who make this stop a part of a summer circuit.
Additionally, this event makes for a busy long weekend with three other rodeos happening in the nearby area.
“It’s more of us going through the rodeo association and then it brings on all their members to enter our rodeo,” she said.
Cowboys and cowgirls come from all over southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“Wow,” Van Tryp said of the feedback she gets from the contestants.
“(Especially)FCA, because they haven’t been here before. They’re like ‘I didn’t know this was down here before,’ and yeah they’re excited to come here. They’re glad it’s on in a nice distance from Writing on Stone and Consul.”
The focus year in and year out is to increase the membership, have more rodeo families come in and participate and “build on that rodeo atmosphere,” she added.
Local team roper Taylor Wudrich and his partner Darryl Brost received a no time score and luck was not on their side.
“Didn’t have any luck today,” said Wudrich.
“I just didn’t get a very good start. I started too early and our steer was a little stronger than I thought he was going to be.”
He likes to participate in his hometown rodeo because of seeing the familiar faces at the rodeo grounds that he grew up with.
“It’s come a long way,” he said of the rodeo.
“They’ve really improved the rodeo grounds a lot and they’re getting a lot of entries, which helps us out. It pays well.”