Nicola Valley's Western Heritage

The rodeo grounds and venue were built and, for more than half a century, have been run by the Nicola Valley Rodeo Association. The grassland expanses of the Nicola Valley are home to some of British Columbia’s oldest ranches. They and five First Nations communities centred around the Merritt community form the foundation of the ranching and rodeo heritage of the Nicola Valley.
This legacy continues every year with the signature event, the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo, on the September long weekend.
Throughout the rest of the year, the Rodeo Grounds host a wide range of events including ranch rodeos, youth rodeos, barrel racing, other equestrian events and clinics. 

2019 Western Heritage Honourees

  • Guy Rose

    Guy Rose

    Raised in Vancouver, Guy Rose spent summers working for his uncles on the Guichon Ranch at Quilchena where he developed his passion for ranching. In 1955 the original Ranch was divided into the Beaver Ranch and Quilchena Ranch. Guy, at 28 years old, with his new bride Hilde at his side, became the operator and co-owner of Quilchena Ranch.

    With a degree in Agriculture, Guy spent the next several decades using innovation to modernize Quilchena. Credited with bringing in the STackhand hay system as well as wheel line irrigation, Guy helped introduce modern farming to the Nicola Valley. Passionate about the Quilchena Hotel, Quilchena store, and an equipment dealership, Guy and Hilde maintained the Quilchena community as an agricultural hub for decades. The Hotel was a great centre of activity and fun, although not all the legendary activities were sanctioned by Guy!

    Quilchena Ranch was sold to Douglas Lake Cattle Company in 2016, who continue to operate the ranch following the 60 years of successful operation by Guy, Hilde and their children Steve, Mike, Peter, Anne and Paul. 

  • Jim Steffens

    Jim Steffens

    Jim Steffens was born in Merritt, grew up on the family's Lazy L Ranch and lived his life in the Nicola Valley. Some of Jim's earliest responsibilities were driving a team of horses during winter feeding, haying and hauling the payload of siblings back and forth to school. Growing up to be a man of great integrity and intellect, Jim went on to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Guelph, Ontario. Returning to Merritt 1959 with his bride Pat, Jim became the first Vet in the Nicola Valley and regularly traveled as far as Lillooet and Princeton.

    In addition to working the family ranch, Jim became a master of handling large animals with little or no modern calving systems. Merritt's first Vet was as cool as a spring creek.

    After many decades of Vet work and ranching, Jim put together a prize winning Pure Bred Charolais herd known as Steffens 7B Charolais. Always surrounded by strong women, second wife Elaine and Jim and Pat's daughters Patti and Margie helped him transition into retirement. Jim was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2014 and inducted into the hearts of anyone that knew him. 

  • Richard Tenish

    Richard Tenish

    Richard was born and raised on a small dairy farm in the Swiss Alps. Horses were his first love and it was easy for him to fall in love with the Cowboy way of life in BC.

    His first trip to Canada was in 1985, though he traveled back to Switzerland for 4 - 5 years to recharge his bank account and became a permanent resident in 1989. Richard worked at Douglas, Nicola and Pooley Ranches and one of his fondest memories was working with Stan Murphy and Rock Creek at Douglas Lake.

    In 1992 Richard discovered his second passion while attending a Silver Smith course in Pendleton, Oregon. While managing the Quilchena Hotel with Monica, Richard developed his craft to the point where he was able to make it a full - time career. The unique crafting of buckles, earrings, money clips and pocket watches are treasured by many who own them. While not getting rich with his craft, Richard states he can make a living from one of his two passions in life. 

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    Don Moses

    Don Moses lived a very full and accomplished life on his ranch in Shulus where he was raised and later operated his Herford cattle ranch, and his businesses. His knowledge, confidence and shrewd work ethic allowed him to wear many hats - Politician, Chief, Leader, Educator, Entrepreneur, Advocate, Visionary, & Rancher. Whether managing his many businesses, out in the hayfields or rangeland, or working his cattle, Don took pride in each of his businesses & projects. His success was in adhering to good ol' HARD WORK, and he never let the word NO get in his way of finding a solution.

    Don Moses was instrumental in starting the all Aboriginal Nicola Valley 4-H club and was also involved with the BC Cattlemen's Association. He used his vast experience and knowledge to help and support fellow ranchers.

    Don was a great role model to his numerous nieces and nephews. He will be remembered as an advocate of education and hard work. He had many friends and it seemed everyone knew Don Moses! Don passed away... far too soon, but he left a significant legacy.

    He will always be remembered by the community of the Nicola Valley and is extremely missed by his family & many friends. 

The Nicola Valley Rodeo Association is committed to preserving the ranching and rodeo heritage of the Nicola Valley.

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