Bad weather a boon to indoor rodeo

It was a wild and western couple of days last week when the Meadow Lake Stampede Association hosted its annual rodeo June 5-7. Here, 10-year-old Quinn Tallmadge hangs on tight in Friday's calf riding competition.

It was a wild and western couple of days last week when the Meadow Lake Stampede Association hosted its annual rodeo June 5-7. Here, 10-year-old Quinn Tallmadge hangs on tight in Friday’s calf riding competition.

by Phil Ambroziak

The Meadow Lake Stampede Association was able to rope another memorable event with this year’s Stampede Week.

The 94th annual celebration, which kicked off June 2 with the annual Western Parade and wrapped up this past weekend with the indoor rodeo at the Meadow Lake and District Arena, attracted hundreds of visitors from the local area and beyond, something Stampede Association president Leighton Wood attributes to both Mother Nature and the opportunities presented to competitors.

“It all went very well,” Wood said. “Certainly the weather last week was in favour of an indoor rodeo. It was nice to have a roof over our heads and I believe that also helped with the crowds. We had large attendance levels each of the three nights.”

Wood went on to say Stampede Week attracted both international participants as well as those from right here in Meadow Lake.

“A third of the contestants at Thursday’s bull riding were from other countries – there were riders from Mexico, Ireland and Paraguay, and there were also a number of Australians,” he said. “When participants come here looking to be part of some of the better shows out there, it really says something about this one. Friday and Saturday were also great nights. Friday featured the local events, which really added to the show. The event becomes much more interesting to the people in the stands when they see people they know competing.”

And, although Stampede Week is finished for another year, Wood said it won’t be long before plans are underway to make the 2015 show even bigger and better.

“While we were cleaning up Sunday, there are already discussions going on about what we could or should do differently next June,” he stated. “We’ll reconvene in the fall and start planning again for next year’s show.”

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