In the Wild Horse Race, each rider will be allowed two helpers. Each team shall have it’s own saddle, halter and shank. The horses cannot be halter broke. They are haltered, then let out of the chutes by the rodeo management and after the sound of the horn the horse race has officially begun.

The idea is to saddle your horse and steer him across a finish line between two judges with a rider in the saddle.

Something that sounds so simple to do, but in reality rarely ever goes too smoothly. If only one team were in the arena at a time it certainly would be easier. But there are usually at least six to eight teams at the Williams Lake Stampede and they are all over the place.

The horses are not mistreated in any way but the race is often physically very hard on the bodies of the contestants. Come and see some action packed races at Williams Lake Stampede.



The origins of the Mountain Race date to the early days of the Stampede In the 20’s when cowboys raced down the side of Fox Mountain across what is now Highway 97 and on into the Stampede grounds. This is now a scaled down version and exhibition providing fun for the contestants and the audience.

A maximum of ten riders race each day for added prize monies and points. On the fourth day the number 1 and 2 winners from the first three days are guaranteed a spot in the race. All points carry forward through the final race to decide the Mountain Race Champion. Riders are introduced about 1/2 hour before race time as they parade through the rodeo arena. They exit the arena and ride up the hill to the start. A horn sounds and the race is on. Almost the entire race is visible from the grandstand seating.

The rules state that riders must stay on the designated course which includes sharp turns and a mud and water hazard before the steep drop down to the track. Riders can be disqualified for infractions involving rules, straying from the marked course and for jostling or bumping other riders and horses. Any point ties will be split by adding up the total racers times.

The contestants must sign up daily, pay the entry fees, and all contestants must sign a liability waiver. The dress code is jeans, shirt, colored vest provided, cowboy hat, socks and underwear optional.

If you wish to participate in the Mountain Race or obtain more information about the Race, please contact Chief Lulua at 1-250-267-5559.



The Wild Cowgirl Race at the Williams Lake Stampede. 

The Wild Cowgirl Race is a 3/8 mile flat race open to women only, during the Williams Lake Stampede. Entering it's fourth year at the Stampede, this unique event is very popular with contestants and spectators alike. As the name indicates this event features some of the bravest and most wild young women in the Cariboo and beyond - drawing on competitors locally, nationally, and internationally.  This is another bragging rights event, hold on to your hats as your watch this one!  Find more information about the race Rules and Regulations here and how to register for the race on the event Facebook Page.



Ranch Bronc Riding
$2,000 added prize money, split among the top three riders. Montana Silversmith’s Buckle goes to the top rider.

This popular event was originally included in the Ranch Challenge and is now a separate event on its own. Open to any non -professional riders. Riders are required to dress up/or decorate their C+ Rodeo Stock Bronc and ride them for up to 8 seconds in a regular saddle. There is no spur out rule as required in Rodeo bronc riding. Riders are scored on their ability to entertain the public. There is a $50 entry fee. This event will run on Saturday during the rodeo performance.

Riders must enter by June 15th.

If you wish to participate as a Sponsor for Ranch Challenge, Mountain Race, or Ranch Bronc Riding please contact Willie Crosina @ (250) 392-5910 or lacrosina@hotmail.com. For info 250-398-8153 or to enter.

Poplar Meadows Angus

Ranch Challenge

The Ranch Challenge scheduling will be announced soon!

The Williams Lake Stampede had its origin in a group of local cowboys deciding to get together and organize a contest whereby they could show off their cowboy skills and compete for prize money and settle the age old argument of who really was the best!

Over the years as the Stampede grew and changed from an amateur rodeo to a professional one we lost that original theme. The birth of the Ranch Challenge was a discussion among a few ranch/rodeo committee members of the need to bring back the local cowboys to the rodeo. We are a ranching community and are home to several of the bigger ranches in the province and we wanted those ‘real cowboys’ back at our rodeo.

We started in 1993 on a limited basis to see if the idea had any merit and by 1994 as more teams began to enter we had a successful event and the fans loved it. The competition is invitational, open only to 10 teams of working cowboys from surrounding area ranches.

The Poplar Meadows Angus Ranch Challenge is a popular spectator event where teams of three riders must compete in all 6 events that showcase the specific skills and knowledge required in their profession:

  • Cattle Penning

  • Cattle Sorting

  • Saddle Up Race

  • Cowhand Trailer Race

  • Trailer Loading

  • Ranch Branding

The events will take place Saturday and Sunday in 2018, immediately following the Bull Riding event - spectator admission is free. Points are given in all events from 1st to last and the Ranch Team accumulating the most points over the two days is the Ranch Challenge champion. Teams receive payouts based on the top teams in each event. Buckles and prizes will be handed out shortly after the end of Sunday’s events.

Limited to the first 10 ranches who enter -please submit your entries prior to June 1st. The entry fee of $150 will go up to $200 after June 1st.

 Team Cattle Penning

A team of three cowboys mounted on their best stock horses line up behind a starting line. A herd of cattle is at the opposite end of the arena. Each animal has a large number from 0-9 glued high on its shoulders. As the cowboys cross the start line the announcer calls out a number. Example: “5”. The team of cowboys now has to cut out (separate) all animals bearing the number 5. There will be two cattle with each number. The separated animals are herded back to a pen at the start end of the arena. When both animals are in the pen one rider will ride to the gate, raise his arm and time is stopped. There are penalties for less than two cattle penned. Disqualification can occur for unnecessary rough handling of stock or for letting too many cattle cross a penalty line or for a horse & rider entering the cattle pen at the end. The teams are placed from first to last based on the time it takes to pen their cattle. All teams penning two cattle will beat any teams penning only one head. Teams will have two goes ( turns) to get cattle to the pen.

Sometimes the penning goes as ‘smoothly as silk’, sometimes not. Every now and again an already cut out cow will sneak past the watcher back into the herd, (this is when the cowboy ‘cusses’ his partner instead of the cow) sometimes a lot of cattle will break back and all cross the penalty line, or the herd will be unsettled and restless making the separation of the three cattle next to impossible. Every little while when things are going poorly the odd ‘cowboy cuss’ escapes when the cowboys forget they ‘came to town’ for this event and think it’s an ordinary day out on the range with no one to hear you (but the odd tree) for miles around.

Cowhand Trailer Race

Two teams (one rider from each) will race at the same time from their designated trailer around a marked course and back to the trailer. They will pass their rope to the next partner who will run the course, until all three riders have finished the course. The riders will then dismount and load all three horses into the trailer. The riders will exit the trailer and close the door to signal the end of time.  Each team will be individually timed.

Trailer Loading

The team stands at a start line in mid-arena. A herd of cattle (numbered in pairs from 0-9) is at the far end of the arena. Time starts when the first rider crosses the line and the announcer will call out a number.  Example: “5” the team of cowboys now has to cut out both animals bearing the number 5. The separated animals are herded back to a trailer at the start end of the arena. The riders will load their cattle into the trailer and close the door to stop the time clock. Sounds easy right? Well like any event involving animals, things don’t always go as planned. They can be right up to the door and change their minds about getting in. Extra cattle may be loaded but must be unloaded prior to signaling for time. Riders on foot may enter the trailer to sort out the wrong animals.  Riders may ask for time with only one animal in the trailer but all teams with both cattle will beat any teams having only one cow.

Ranch Branding

Three mounted ropers will be at the gate opening of the cattle pen in the arena. The branding bucket filled with flour paste is tied to the fence. A herd of numbered cattle will be at back of pen and branding bucket. Time will start as the first rider crosses the line. The announcer will call out a number and a brand position.  Example: “5, Left Hip” the three riders now have to head and heel the animal bearing the number 5. They have a limited number of loops (attempts) to catch the cow. If they catch within the time limit the partner who has not roped the cow will dismount and race to get the dauber the cow and paste a brand on the designated area and race back to put the brand in the bucket stopping the time clock. A 5 second penalty will result if only one heel is caught.

Cattle Sorting

This event replicates the sorting of cattle at home with a twist. At the ranch you would be looking at smaller ear tag numbers placed to identify each animal. Here for the benefit of all, the numbers are large and easily read. There will be herd of cattle numbered from 0-9 within a “corral” with an open gate. Teams will try to sort the animals out thru the gate in number order starting with the number called out by the announcer. They try to get as many as possible within the time limit. Example “5” riders will bring out #5 then 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, 1, 2, 3, and ending with 4. Should an animal come back into the corral or a wrong numbered animal escape the team will be given a “dirty time” based on how many cattle are correct. The team with the most correct cattle through the gate will place at the top. Sounds easy
right? Well like at home not everything goes smoothly. A lot depends on the teamwork and communication of the riders. A good cow horse is a definite asset. And then there are the cattle that may have a different plan in mind.

Saddle Up Relay

This is a real crowd pleaser. Teams are split into groups and compete side by side. One horse for each of them is at the start line with only a halter and lead rope on. First team member leads horse to second partner who then bridles the horse and rides it bareback to the third rider who then saddles up and rides back to the start. All teams are timed to decide the winner. All gear must be done up properly. Needless to say, some ranch horse don’t like to be ridden bareback or saddled in a hurry.

If you wish to participate as a Sponsor for Ranch Challenge, Mountain Race, or Ranch Bronc Riding please contact Willie Crosina @ (250) 392-5910 or lacrosina@hotmail.com. For info 250-398-8153.


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