A tribute to bullriding founder Bill McIntosh

A look back at the man behind the Bullriding in the Rockies event

Submitted by Karen Farhni

Columbia Valley Rockies

It’s that time of year again, where everyone dusts off their cowboy boots and gets their bull riding tickets. Arguably the hottest event in town during summer, the Bill McIntosh Memorial Bull Riding in the Rockies is one not to miss. As we celebrate 40 years of hockey and 21 years of bull riding, it seems fitting we stop and pay tribute to Mr. Bill McIntosh.

Bill and his wife Julie got involved with the Columbia Valley Rockies right from the beginning. As an avid hockey parent himself, Bill believed in Eddie Mountain’s vision of a hockey team in town. In fact, his son Don played for the team in the early 80’s. In 1979 Bill was one of 10 founding members on the Columbia Valley Rockies board. He remained on that board until his passing in 2011. He wore many coats in the organization over those years. He drove the bus, fixed the bus, was always willing to roll up his sleeves for any task at hand and if you needed something done or a problem solved, Bill was there. At times, he and Julie would host up to five hockey billets during their 15 year hosting stint. Bill’s son Don can still recall family dinners were there would be upwards of a dozen pork chops on the table.

As a logger and rancher, Bill had this grand idea of bringing a rodeo to town as a fundraiser for the hockey team. In its early years, the event was held inside the rink before it was moved across the street to its current location where it has continued to grow. Bill would be proud to see his legacy carried on, as year after year Bull Riding in the Rockies continues thanks to a hard working group of dedicated volunteers.

When you met Bill, the first thing you would notice were his big hands, but it was his big heart you’d remembere him by. There are countless stories of Bill lending a helping hand, and we will never truly know the full impact Bill had with the Rockies. He did a lot of things quietly behind the scenes. He was a very generous, humble, yet proud family man. Bill’s grandsons Tristen and Jesse honour their grandpa’s passion for hockey and play locally for the WVMHA. Today, his wife Julie continues to sell game day tickets, sits on the bull riding committee and is a lifetime board member for all their generous years of service.

So come out on July 19th and enjoy Bull Riding in the Rockies this year and while you are there make sure you raise a glass for Bill!

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