It doesn’t seem to matter whenever you hold a rodeo around Ponoka, it’s going to be a success.
And for the second annual Bulls, Broncs and Bling New Year’s Eve event, it was exactly that. In fact, it proved to be better than the inaugural event a year earlier.
“There were more people that came and the entire production was pretty decent,” said Joyce Vold, event coordinator at the Calnash Ag Event Centre.
While no specific attendance numbers were available, the stands for the saddle bronc and bull riding events during the evening were packed along with some standing room areas fairly full as well. Following the bulls and broncs, the cabaret area left little room to move as local musical product Jamie Woodfin and his band took to the nearby stage to help the revellers ring in the start of 2016.
Vold explained the event is about providing a package to people – a family friendly rodeo show followed by a more entertainment-themed New Year’s Eve celebration.
“The show is always going to be about family-friendly and that’s why we try to keep the event affordable,” she said, adding some kids learned from last year to bring some toys to play and dig in the dirt.
As for the rodeo, Call Marr from Pincher Creek was among four cowboys to post scores in both qualifying rounds in the saddle bronc event and then left his best to the end, scoring an exceptional 85 points in the final to capture the title.
The bull riding though was a completely different story with the bulls getting the better of the 24 riders on the night, as just four riders made it through their eight second rides. And as it turned out, the first cowboy of the night to make his first ride – Landon Lockhart from Brandon, MB. – was also the only one of the six in the final round to stay on and claimed the crown with a score of 76.5.
While the event is nearly a certainty to return next New Year’s Eve, exactly what form and how it will look will be determined over the next couple of months, according to Vold and arena manager Dennis Pugh.
“We had no complaints about this year’s event and we will take some time to review things and then begin planning for the next one,” said Vold.
“We have an excellent crew running things and we definitely need to thank the large number of volunteers that helped out, without them we couldn’t do events like this.”
Meanwhile Pugh added, “You learn something each time you do an event. This year, it’s stuff behind the scenes, like how to manage the number of animals and timing at this event versus running timed events and such like a regular rodeo.”