Giving Back

The Kispiox Valley Rodeo poster, created by internationally renowned B.C. artist, Roy Henry Vickers. The saddle bronc rider is Dan Black on Bearman at Merritt; bareback rider is Jim Peterson on Gitksan Gal at Kispiox; Kaleigh Allen on her barrel horse at Kispiox; Wade McNolty on the bull (Wade is a former Canadian PBR Champion) at Kispiox. The horse head is ‘Mister’ a former team roping horse that Roy bought for a first horse for his daughter. Photo courtesy Roy Henry Vickers.

The BCRA Kispiox Valley Rodeo (nine hours north west of Williams Lake, B.C.) is celebrating their 70th anniversary. It’s one of the oldest rodeos in B.C., and a sentimental favourite of at least one special man who chooses to remain anonymous.

I received this from Joy Allen, one of the rodeo organizers: “At the 2016 rodeo a guy asked if he could speak to me,” said Allen. “He said he had competed at Kispiox when he was just a teenager; he looked about 60 or so. He’d entered the bareback, got bucked off, spent all his money at the dance that night on booze, and when he woke up on Sunday it was pouring rain. He was cold, wet, hadn’t eaten since Friday, no money, his buddies went home without him and he was just plain down and out.

“He was walking through the grounds and an ‘old guy’ [Allen’s dad] said to him, ‘Hey partner, it looks like you could use a hot cup of coffee.’ He said ‘the old guy’ poured him coffee and warmed up some spuds, chicken and beans in the dutch ovens. Dad then built up the fire so he could get warm and also found him a ride home. The man then said, ‘A day never went by that I didn’t remember his kindness.’

“Then,” continued Allen, “He said to me, ‘Joy, I’ve done pretty good the last few years, and I’d like the chance to finally pay back the favour. Here’s a cheque for $10,000 and I’d like you to add it to the saddle bronc riding purse at your 70th annual rodeo.’” 

The 70th annual Kispiox Valley Rodeo goes June 3-4, 2017. Bring your camper?—?and your kindness.