79th Stampede, Anahim Lake

19 pole bendingThe 79th Anahim Lake Stampede was, as you can see, a mud bath!  The rain we’v had this spring and early summer has been unbelievable.  (This is the pole bending race.)

Although the day started with a few showers, it was fairly dry for the opening ceremony.  (But they did not have to water the arena to keep down the dust as they usually do.)1 start StampedeThe first event was steer wrestling.3 Anahim Lake Stampede steer wrestling bestNext was breakaway calf roping.  A lot of women compete in roping events.4 breakaway calf ropingAt that point it started to rain again.  Umbrellas sprouted up like mushrooms.  (Normally people who have them bring them to shade themselves from the sun.)5 starting to rainWild cow riding was next.  This is an event for kids who are training to be bronc or bull riders some day.  Only or four contestants (entries were down right across the board) – this one was a girl.7 wild cow riding - girlTeam roping is where one man lassoos the head or horns of a steer, and the other snags a hind foot.8 team ropingThis was the only successful team.9 team roping successI was by now wearing two coats (I don’t have any that are completely waterproof) and stuffing my camera – which is not waterproof – under the coats in between shots.  I kept trying to wipe the rain off the lens but still got a few drops.

Other audience members were dealing with the rain in their own way.14 dealing with rain 2

13 dealing with rainThis guy didn’t seem to mind at all.15 dealing with rain 3Some people were already leaving, but most stuck it out long enough to see the wild cow milking.  It was then that the heavens opened and it started to deluge.10 wild cow milkingA bunch of cows and two teams of four were turned into the arena.  These were rodeo cows who were not used to being handled.  It was hard to get close to them.  Here is Henry trying to rope one.  (Henry operated the machine that dug the basement of my house, and has frequently ploughed my road. He is also prominent in the Precipice Cattle Drives.)11 HenryHe missed, and it was the other team who eventually secured a cow and managed to squirt a bit of milk into a bottle.  The milker is Punky Hatch, whose ranch I visited earlier this year during calving season.12 milkingBy the time the barrel racing came along, the arena had a texture of sloppy oatmeal.16 barrel racing mudbath 2

16 Barrel racing mudbath 3By now, these brave contestants were performing to a virtually empty  place.18 stands emptyNext to last was another team roping event.  Don’t ask me why there are two – something to do with rodeo standards.  I go there only to take pictures.  (And see my friends making fools of themselves.)20 team roping again

21 got the horns

22 team roping 3They failed to get the hind hoof.

I was hanging in there because the final event of the day is always the bull riding.  There was only one contestant this year.  He had a pretty wild ride in the chute.23 bull riding  in chutesIt took so long to get him settled, with me keeping the camera primed and under my coats, that the lens was steamed up when I tried to take a photo.24 bull riding 2The rider lasted his 8 seconds, but even when you are successful, there is no easy way to get off.25 bull riding 3“That’s it, folks,” said the announcer.  “See you tomorrow.”  Yeah, right!


4 thoughts on “79th Stampede, Anahim Lake”

  1. When I lived in California, I had a horse and kept it at a place that had a roping arena. They had roping every Saturday and it was fun to ride my horse over and watch all the action. We rarely got rain, so the arena was usually dug up and dry to give the horses a good footing. – Margy
    Margy recently posted…Saving Dahlia Tubers in Pots UpdateMy Profile

  2. Man … you’ve got to be a Die-Hard rodeo fan to play in the mud like those competitors did. Great action shots that I really enjoyed while sitting here high and dry in my chair. Thanks for sharing your photos with us. Bonnie

  3. Just for the record, it was Henry that caught the cow (second try)…. and Lester Tuck the ‘mugger’. Between them they managed to get her “whoa’ed up” long enough for me to get my squirt of milk to win! One of the girls from the ranch is trying to ‘steal’ from our cow……. lol Good fun, even in the pouring rain.

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