It was a fun-filled May Long Weekend as the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair celebrated 65 years of family fun and cowboy and girl action. Crowds giddied-up for the exciting sights and events and enjoyed fair weather Friday and Monday while toughing it out in true cowfolk fashion rainy Saturday and Sunday.
The 65th annual Rodeo showcased the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls in Canada’s second richest pro rodeo payout, and offered up more than $360,000 in prize money. Standout winner was Clayton Foltyn who finished first overall in bull riding. As the lone competitor to stay on his animal during the full 8 second ride, Foltyn took home $50,000 in the final and $54,300 overall.
There was upset for the two BC competitors who made it through to the final round. Despite a hard-fought effort, Merritt bull-rider Ty Pozzobon was unable to stay on his animal for the required 8 seconds. Meanwhile, after taking a wide turn during ladies barrel racing, Kamloops native Laura James finished second-to-last with a time of 15.59, only .45s of a second away from the first place winner’s time.
“We were able to bring out a very strong field of competitors for our 65th annual rodeo,” said Cloverdale Rodeo Chairperson Penny Smythe. “The high calibre of competitors helped attract a good number of diehard fans and rodeo newbies, proving rain and Canuck playoffs were no match for live Cloverdale action.”
In total, more than 15,000 people turned out to see one of North America’s premier pro rodeos during five performances held throughout the four-day event. “Attendance for afternoon rodeo performances was excellent. The sun was out for Monday Finals, drawing an enthusiastic crowd to what proved to be the most exciting rodeo action of the entire event,” Smythe added.
The Country Fair attracted long weekend crowds in excess of 77,000, up more
than 5000 visitors from last year.