For the first time ever, the North Region of the B.C. High School Rodeo Association hosted the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals, in Fort St. John at the North Peace Light Horse Grounds, June 7 to 9. If you find it hard to believe that the North has never hosted the finals, you’re not the only one.
“I’ve been involved for 30 years and it’s nice to not have to make the drive south for senior finals. It really is a big deal for our region,” said Lynn Peck, treasurer for the region.
The North Region competitors have just accepted that each June they have to make at least an eight hour drive to win a provincial title, but now that’s changing.
“It makes it easier for all of us, and our horses. Our families can come watch and we’re a bit more fresh,” said Hanna Pederson.
Pederson, who lead the girls all around headed into the, is one of a handful of graduating athletes from the North Region this year. Pederson was hoping to improve upon her provincial finals from last year, and she didn’t disappoint.
She wanted to become the B.C. All Around Cowgirl, and that’s exactly what she did. She is also the B.C. Breakaway champion, and finished second in pole bending, fourth in goat tying and fourth in team roping.
Improving on her 2018 performance wasn’t easy — she did pretty well last year with a second in breakaway roping, third in goat tying and fifth in pole bending — but she continued to be a force to finish top five in all of her events.
For Pederson, this was a chance to end her high school career with a bang.
“Winning here would be the best way to go out, something people would remember. I’ve been practicing nonstop and I’m ready,” she said before the rodeo began.
Little did she know that she would get the ending she predicted.