Virden Indoor Rodeo scored big in this their 30th year with crowd numbers, competitors’ awards and a new Saturday party for the fans.
“Friday was busy. But Saturday night, I can’t recall ever seeing that building that full. People standing everywhere, no seats to be had,” said Lonnie Brown, Chairman of the Indoor Rodeo.
With a number of local competitors up on Saturday, the crowd came to watch friends, family and acquaintances ride bulls, rope calves and bulldog the steers.
“It was a fun rodeo to be a part of,” says Brown.
To the tune of Cowboy Town, a video on the big screen featured local rodeo competitors. Designed by local cowboy Thomas Hagan and Thomas Humphries (Fusion Audio Visual), this three-minute tribute ran at the start and close of every rodeo performance.
Special this year, winners of each long round event (Friday/Saturday night) received a Troy Fisher Silversmith buckle.
“This year for the 30th, to add a little, we put up a Hometown Hero Buckle,” said Brown. Barrel racer Christine King won that buckle.
The Old Time Hero buckle went to team roper Warren Boles of Brandon.
“Both he and team roping partner Kevin Grad qualified for the buckle. They had to flip for it.
“That was our extra thanks to our competitors who have come over the years.”
Some 450 tee-shirts were given to the volunteer force. Sponsors received a beautiful go-cup with a silver buckle on it.
The Saturday afternoon tail-gate party was a hit says Brown.
“I know that was one of the highlights of my kids’ weekend… a free mechanical bull ride.”
The Championship (short) round saw thrilling action.
Some years all the bull riders are tossed before the eight second buzzer. This year, TJ Loeppky stayed the eight seconds for an 85-point ride and was the All Round saddle winner.
Both ladies and junior (15U) girls barrel racers had some fantastic runs, with a time of 13.6 winning the ladies long go round.
“The girl that won the short round, that’s got to be pretty close to the fastest run in the new arena, for sure,” stated Brown of Calonna Slade the winner with 13.3 seconds.
In the juniors, a wisp of a girl, Kaybree Zunti ran in Sunday’s Slack and went on to win the 15U barrel racing event Sunday with a time of 13.471.
Steer wrestling highlighted Manitoba cowboys.
Local steer wrestler Charlie King put in a good performance of 4.43 seconds and Virden’s Trevor Vodon flipped his steer in 7.33 seconds.
Justin Miller (Neepawa) won the event with a time of 3.74 seconds. Zane Marcenko (Rockglen, Sask.) had his steer down in 3.99, while Austin Whelpton (Neepawa) was timed at 5.42 seconds.
After the glory
For the committee, Sunday is not the end. Monday and Tuesday are tear-down days as committee members and their volunteers “take out the iron” and remove the dirt.
“To make this go, it doesn’t really matter what your title is, you have to get it done,” said Brown.