Marlon Williams of Mount Currie, B.C. runs to get out of the way with this bull chasing him after he got thrown at last year’s Speedway Bull-A-Rama. Western News file photo

Speedway Bull-A-Rama this weekend

Bulls replace horsepower at Penticton Speedway

Horsepower will be tossed aside at the Penticton Speedway this weekend for cowboys trying to tame spinning, snorting and bucking bulls.

The fourth annual Speedway Bull-A-Rama takes place on Saturday with some of the top cowboys from Bull Riders Canada.

“It is not often that people can go to a real speedway track to witness top-level bull riders competing on some of the nation’s greatest bovine superstars,” said Bull Riders Canada president Russell Friend. “The entire production team have done an incredible job at building an annual event that the entire Okanagan Valley looks forward to each summer. The facilities, the calibre of stock and cowboys and the production of the event is a must-attend for locals and tourists alike. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth capitalizing on the opportunity to witness riders from several countries getting on some of the best bulls in Canada — all ranch-raised within British Columbia.”

Friend should know what he is talking about since Bull Riders Canada has over 70 events sanctioned across Canada from western British Columbia to New Brunswick, handing out almost $300,000 in prize money. There are nearly 200 members of Bull Riders Canada with riders competing from over five different countries throughout an entire calendar year.

”I remember speaking with Johnny (Aantjes, Speedway owner) five years ago when he was looking to create an event, a spectacle that would be a highlight in the Okanagan summer season,” said Friend.

High Risk Entertainment wanted to maximize the uniqueness of having an event at a race track and he wanted to ensure that the production was top notch so he recruited the assistance of Ed LeBourdais and Wade Marchand to help with the production and the rodeo stock.

Riders on the Penticton draw include Marlon Williams (14th overall in the BRC season standings), Matt O’Flynn (eight overall), Brazil’s Italo Aguilar (sixth overall), also from Brazil Marcos Gloria (second overall) and Lane Cork (ninth overall).

As an added feature this year, there will be a Junior Steer Riding portion of the event that will feature $500 in added prize money as well as the future of British Columbia’s bull riding sensations. Friend said it is a real crowd pleaser anywhere this format is added in Canada.

“We work with a lot of different types of locations that host a bull riding event,” said Friend. “We (Bull Riders Canada) are very careful not to over promise and under deliver on any aspect of an event.”

Bull-A-Rama takes place on July 22 at the Penticton Speedway at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for youth and seniors and kids under 10 are free.

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