Friday, June 10, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Bucking Broncos

Cheering crowds, the crackle of a loud speaker, the smell of hot dogs and the belting sun; the First Nations Rodeo at Deadman's Creek was a perfect introduction to the time honoured Canadian tradition of horsemanship and rodeo riding.

It felt slightly like stepping into another world as we rubbed shoulders with the various cowboys and cowgirls that joined us at the rodeo. Everywhere I looked there were 10 gallon hats, leather boots and overly large belt buckles. We looked a little out of place as we mingled with the locals; 15 guests mostly from European countries, few who had ever witnessed a rodeo in action. But as the day wore on, and we spoke to the locals, we experienced first hand the hospitality of the First Nations people.

Amidst the dust and the crowds, we made our way quickly through the small car park to find the best vantage spot from which to watch the spectacle unfold. Pressed against the arena fence, we waited eagerly for the horse to come out of its chute. You could feel the nervous excitement in the air as the final preparations took place, ensuring that both horse and rider were ready for their performance.

I leant against the metal railings and wondered what would motivate someone to climb on to the back of a bucking bronco. Being a beginner rider myself, I have felt the surge of fear and adrenaline that comes when your horse spooks even slightly, so I was intrigued by the idea of voluntarily sitting a top of a horse whose only intent is to throw you to the ground.

As each rider took up their position on the horse, I tried to decide if I thought they were brave or stupid for challenging the obvious power and strength of the horses. Watching the chute open and the bronco come flying out into the arena, I settled on stupid, but was happy to see if any of the cowboys were strong enough to survive.

The crowd held their collective breath as the first gate swung open. The rider managed to hold on for only a few seconds before tumbling like a rag doll to the dirt floor. A quick scramble on all fours and he was soon back up and running, making his way over the fence to safety. The second cowboy fared much better against his steed and with a combination of balance and strength managed to hang on until the horn signaled the prized 8 seconds.

We watched cowboy after cowboy try their hand at the challenge, each with varying levels of success. Luckily, their pride seemed to be the only thing suffering and they were all able to walk away without any serious injuries, ready to fight another day.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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