The Ponoka Stampede is becoming an old hat at winning national awards.
Last week, Rodeo Canada announced the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association as the winners of the Large Rodeo Committee of the Year, marking the seventh straight year they have won the award and 11th time since the awards have been handed out.
Stampede vice-president Blair Vold believes the association continues to take the crown due to a combination of great people and a great event.
“This is a testament to our town, volunteers and the board and shows that all of the work they do is appreciated,” he said.
“It’s always nice to see that the competitors — who vote on this award — like what everyone has put together. Also, our commitment to assembling the best stock possible, which is a feather in the hat of those responsible, really helps us as well.”
The 2016 edition managed to skirt some bad weather, really seeing just a few showers during the week-long event, as well as sliding by Alberta’s economic hard time to witness a jump in attendance figures.
“(Those circumstances) meant a lot of people stayed closer to home, which I think helped us,” he stated, as did the addition of a professional bullriding event on the weekend before the Stampede began and switch in entertainment options.
“The change to our entertainment, with bringing in a little bit of everything, gave something for everyone to be able to enjoy the Stampede and it certainly worked out good for us,” he explained.
“Though, without our volunteers behind the scenes, we couldn’t have done it.”
Plans for 2017, which will go June 26 to July 2, are well underway with a few meetings already under their belts and a couple more to go before the committee will be in Edmonton for some national meetings and supporting the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) that runs Nov. 9 to 13.
One naturally will be in the stands to cheer on a few local competitors, but also in a very important role in how the CFR operates.
Brenda Vold has once again been selected to be one of two event timers at the CFR.
This will be Brenda’s 12th straight time as a timer at the CFR and it never gets dull for her.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it all,” she said, adding her employer Wolf Creek Public Schools and coworkers at Ponoka Elementary School know it’s part of her routine.
Her job is among the most important, since it can mean the difference between someone winning a title or not. However, she doesn’t let the fact it’s the CFR get the best of her.
“Whether it’s the CFR, the NFR or any other rodeo I work at, I treat them all equally,” she stated.
“And I couldn’t ask to work with better down-home, salt of the earth people while I do something for the sport I really enjoy.”
***In the story “Ponoka Stampede takes national award again” on page 38 of the Oct. 12 edition, the quote from Brenda Vold made it seem like Vold has worked at the NFR (National Finals Rodeo). It should have noted that whatever calibre of rodeo event, she treats them all the same. The Ponoka News apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.***