The seventh annual Western Weekend came off without a hitch, and the sight of some greenhorns in the mix made it even better.
“It went really good. It was a great weekend,” said event co-organizer Tammy Phye, adding they had 27 riders out this year, including the likes of first-timer Rachel Robinson from Qualicum Beach and her horse Indy.
In her senior year at Kwalikum Secondary School, Robinson only started training on her own a few months go.
“This was her first time coming to this event,” said Phye, explaining Robinson has been going up to Courtenay to practice sorting, “but this was the first year she’s come to the (Western Weekend), and she had a lot of fun.
“That’s what we want to see is these young people come out,” said Phye. “They’re the ones that will keep the sport growing.”
On Saturday a group of young’ens got some lessons in penning on Saturday.
“They took them in with the cows; there were even a couple eight year olds in there. They were just starting to show them, starting to teach them a bit about it. It was really neat seeing that,” said Phye.
“I thought it went really well — it was really nice to have the older riders helping me out giving me pointers and stuff,” Robinson confirmed later that evening.
A longtime 4H member, the good natured teen said she’s been riding for nine years “and I just wanted to try something new. I’m loving it,” she said of her new favourite pastime. “I’m having so much fun, and I always leave with a smile on my face. Definitely.”
On Sunday, Robinson and her trusted steed looked right at home in the cattle sorting competition.
“She did great,” confirmed Phye.
WESTERN WEEKEND RESULTS
Local teams swept the Jack Pot Penning event with the Phye family — Jared, his wife Katja, and dad Hugh taking first, with second place to Lawrence Beck, Becky McCreesh, and Frank Riedstra, and third place to the team of Suzanne Beauchesne, Linda Quesnel, Dallas Noble.
In the Draw Penning event it was Greg Mills, Jim Fox and Sue Sheppard taking top spot, followed by Brian Whitta, Linda Quesnel, and Dwayne Nikkels, and third to Dallas Noble, Sue Sheppard and Lori Kerr.
In Draw Sorting, Dallas Noble and Hugh Phye finished first; Jared Phye and Dallas Noble were second, and Wayne Ansell and Lawrence Beck were third.
Greg Mills from Duncan won the obstacle course race.