Bill Jeffery never raced a horse around a barrel—in the rodeo world, that’s an event dominated by women. But he participated in a lot of rodeo events, and made it a family affair.
Jeffery died four years ago, but the passion he instilled in his wife and daughters for horses and for barrel racing is thriving. His widow, Carey, and daughter Jenna will compete in a memorial race in Jeffery’s honour this Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 at the fairgrounds behind Glenwood Centre in Port Alberni.
The second annual event is part of the Island Barrel Racing Series.
A barrel racing course comprises three barrels set up in a clover leaf pattern; the size is dependent on the arena. Riders can run either to the right or the left barrel first. “You’re racing against a clock,” Jenna Jeffery explains. “If you knock over a barrel, it’s a five-second penalty.”
A standard pattern takes 17.6 seconds to complete. And that’s the attraction: the speed at which competitors finish the course, Jeffery said.
The event starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 and again at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24. Admission is free. A dessert and coffee social will follow Saturday’s event, for people to reminisce about Bill Jeffery.