This weekend, some 350 riders will compete in the B.C. Barrel Racers Association's provincial finals at the Raymond Kerr Memorial Arena.
If only it were that easy.
The competition is scheduled to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Mount Paul Centre, formerly the home of the Kamloops Exhibition Association. The first racer will ride at 7:30 a.m., each day, with the action to continue into the afternoon.
The association will make do at the Raymond Kerr Memorial Arena, but it's far from ideal.
"We need a full equine facility in this area," said Kelli Pozzobon of Pritchard, the president of the BCBRA. "We're pulling everything together at the Mount Paul Centre, but it used to be a full equine facility, with showers and bathrooms, stalls and equipment. We don't have that anymore."
Kamloops has been without such a facility since 2011, when the Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA) didn't renew its Mount Paul Centre lease with the Tk'emlups Indian Band. The barns and stalls remain on-site, but are rarely used.
"We had to rent bleachers and bring in trailers," Pozzobon said of this week's event. "All we really have is space to park horse trailers and set up pens. There's space for about 90 horses in the barn, but before, there used to be room for 200."
What Pozzobon would like to see is a one-stop shop for equine matters, including reining, jumping, cutting and racing. Chilliwack has such a centre, Pozzobon said, and it's used for everything from dog and horse events to trade shows and rodeos.
There has been some chatter over the past two years about a group in town hoping to work with the city of Kamloops to utilize space near the Tournament Capital Ranch in Rayleigh.
"It would be nice if the city or a group of businessmen came together and made a proposal," Pozzobon said. "Kamloops would really benefit from that sort of centre - we're a central part of B.C., and when we hold (the BCBRA finals) in Kamloops, entries always jump up."
The BCBRA finals usually are held in the Interior; they were in Barriere in 2012, Kamloops in 2011 and Williams Lake in 2010.
This allows some of the competitors to compete at multiple events this weekend - the North Thompson Fall Fair in Barriere, the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo in Merritt and the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong all are held on the weekend. Julie Leggett of Kamloops will be competing in all four events, Pozzobon said, including the BCBRA finals.
"We're in a great spot here," Pozzobon added, "and so many people would benefit from (an all-equine facility)."
The BCBRA, now in its 45th year, has a membership of nearly 500 people, and represents every corner of the province.
This weekend's competition will feature four categories: peewee, for those under 10; junior, for those between 10 and 15; senior, for those over 50; and open. The open competition will feature 254 women, with 41 in the senior, around 40 in junior and 30 in peewee.
The youngest competitor is 3, with the oldest in her 70s.