It was indeed a welcome site to see the Lacombe Pro Bull Riding Association back in action on July 30 after a two-year pandemic-related hiatus.
The PBR-sanctioned event took place at the Lacombe Ag Grounds.
“I think for us the biggest thing is to bring these things to Lacombe and to enrich Lacombe,” said Colleen Shippelt, president of the Association, as she reflected on the successful event.
“We also wanted to donate back to the community.”
According to the organization’s website, Lacombe Pro Bull Riding aims to give people an immersive experience in the world of bull riding.
“By coming to the event you will be subjected to the show of a lifetime, which will leave you on the edge of your seat with anticipation/excitement. Don’t miss the event everyone will be talking about.”
Shippelt said the July 30 event was a lot of fun and very well-supported by the community, although having it on the long weekend - the same weekend as a few other local events - wasn’t the original plan.
“The August long weekend definitely wasn’t our first pick - it wasn’t something that we chose. We definitely didn’t have it on this weekend to try and take over from other events.
“It’s just how it worked out with sanctioning with the PBR,” she said, adding that it really boils down to holding an event on days that are available and what the riders can make it to as well.
“We didn’t have a choice on the weekend.”
Looking back, the first event took place back in 2019 in the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, and it was a huge success.
“It was fabulous! We had a sold-out crowd, and we were able to give the Lacombe Ringette Association a $7,000 donation. It went extremely well, and was also so well-received in town,” she explained.
This time around, Shippelt said they had planned on going back to the arena, but then the Lacombe Agriculture Society approached them and said they would build them a permanent spot to use if they would come and join forces with them.
Ultimately, Shippelt said it felt terrific to hold the event again after two years of working to make it happen only to have to shelve those plans due to the pandemic.
“It was really nice to come back to it for sure!”
Of course, pulling off a major event like this means working together, and Shippelt wanted to extend a big thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers.
She is also thankful for the wonderful partnership with the Lacombe Ag Society. A donation from the event also went to the Ag Society as well.
For more information about Lacombe Pro Bull Riding, check out www.lacombeprobullriding.com.