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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time to saddle up for the Cloverdale Rodeo

Time to saddle up for the Cloverdale Rodeo  
Keen cowboys and cowgirls are headed for Surrey

Barrel rider Kelli Tolbert of Hinkley, Utah, lifts off her saddle as she rounds the barrel at lastyear's Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
Dates: May 20-23

Location: Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Surrey

Tickets: $12 for grounds admission, kids six and under are free. Rodeo tickets begin at $20. Tickets are available at or at the gate.

It's time to dust off your Stetsons and shine up those spurs as the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair comes stampeding into town this weekend.

The world's top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls will compete for $360,000 in prize money from Thursday through Monday at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey.

"This unique event blends world-class rodeo action, hundreds of free-with-admission entertainment events that make up the Country Fair, and a brand new Extreme Sports Zone this May long weekend," said event spokesperson Laura Ballance.

The rodeo features four events: Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding and Ladies Barrel Racing.

Only two B.C. competitors made the cut and are eligible to compete in this year's event: Merritt's 19-year-old Ty Pozzobon, who was named Canadian Rookie of the Year in his first year as a pro in 2010, and Abbotsford's Janet Cunningham, 49, who is one of Canada's top barrel racers and has competed at the Cloverdale Rodeo for the past 25 years.

"This April, Ty scored a careerhigh 92 1/2 while riding one of the circuit's wildest bulls called Toy Soldier," said Balance.

"Ty has plans on becoming a Canadian National Champion this year, and can't wait to give 'er in Cloverdale."

Events kick off Thursday at 5: 45 p.m. with the 34th annual bed races bike parade. Other free events include a free Sunday night concert headlined by iconic Canadian band Doug and the Slugs, and a free Sunday night family outdoor movie. The entertainment rolls all weekend long with great country bands in the Longhorn Saloon.

As well as the family-friendly country fair, there will also be a midway with new 30-metre Vertigo swing tower, a kids' zone, a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, and a BMX, freestyle skateboarding and lumberjacks show in the extreme zone.

And, yes, the Canucks 6 p.m. Friday game and noon Sunday game will be on the big screens in the Longhorn Saloon.

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