Riders from up and down the Island put on show last weekend in support of the Tour de Rock’s Cops for Cancer.
The event, dubbed the Cups for Cancer Western Extravaganza featured 20 riders putting on a weekend display of barrel racing at the Campbell River Trail Riders facility off of Highway 28.
English and Western riders from as far as Parksville guided their horses around a series of barrels, kicking up dust and putting on a clinic for spectators.
The event, which is in its third year, is the brain child of Campbell River’s Kandi Wood, her husband Dwight, and friend Cindy Maurer.
It’s part of a series of events put on each year in support of Cops for Cancer which raises money to help send kids with cancer, and their families, to Camp Goodtimes.
“It’s so important,” says Wood, who has had family members and friends battle cancer. “As an adult, it scares the bejeezus out of you. As a child I can’t imagine what that does.”
And Wood says she has seen local kids benefit first-hand from Cops for Cancer. Kids like Campbell River’s Natalia Corrigall, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four, has attended Camp Goodtimes, and, along with her family, is a big supporter of Cups for Cancer.
“Local kids and their family have benefited from the money we raise,” Wood said. “These kids get to go to camp and they get to be kids. It doesn’t matter if they’re bald, or they’re ill, they get to go and be kids like everybody else.”
Cups for Cancer was born a few years ago.
“I started getting into barrel racing because it was on my bucket list. So I got a decent horse and started barrel racing,” Wood said simply. “Most barrel racers are women and we’re prone to breast cancer as women. So we called it Cups for Cancer.”
Because the name rhymed with Cops for Cancer, Wood said it seemed fitting that her charity be dedicated to that cause. And after discovering that Cops for Cancer raises money for children with cancer, Wood was sold.
“It’s well worth it,” Wood said.
And it’s not over yet.
On June 10-11, Cups for Cancer is holding a barrel race at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds, followed by a Prize Ride and Tailgate Dinner along the Williams Beach Trail in Black Creek on June 18. The season wraps up with a third barrel race, at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, Aug. 25-27.