Bull riding gets a new name

The annual Bull Riding in the Rockies event will undergo a name-change this year.

A bull rider gets throttled during 2010's Bull Riding event in Invermere.

A bull rider gets throttled during 2010's Bull Riding event in Invermere.

As summer draws nearer, so too does one of the biggest activity-filled weekends of the summer. Summerlude is a weekend-long festival that has something for everyone.

One of the great outdoor events is the annual Bull Riding in the Rockies. This year the event will be held on July 22.  Al Miller is one of the volunteers who is helping organize the bull riding event.

“We want to target the weekend as a time when people will want to come to the Valley. It is important that we put on a good event to show what we can do. It is important that we say thank you to our visitors and residents for all they do and their time spent here,” Miller said.

The group is still making final details on the event this year but it has been confirmed that, like last year, it will once again be held outdoors.

This will be the thirteenth year the event has been held, and having the chance to be outdoors only adds more excitement to the event, according to Miller.

“The excitement of being outdoors added something, and that is why we are going to do it again.”

People can expect some top-quality stock this year and more prizes offered so that top riders will make their way to the event.

“It is a tremendous, exciting, man-against-beast event. People like that aspect. This is an old sport that has never died off in popularity. It is a high energy, extreme sport. The event is targeted around family. We will be doing the western dinner again along with music and clowns.”

This year the event will also take on a new name in honour of the man who originally founded the event. Bill McIntosh was a long-time volunteer and the man who Miller credited  with getting the event off the ground. McIntosh passed away on March 29 and the group wanted to do something to remember their friend who did so much for the event and for the Columbia Valley Rockies.

“We have memorialized this and it is now called The Bill McIntosh Memorial Bull Riding in the Rockies,” Miller said.