Winners named in Barriere Writer’s contest

All entries were judged on spelling, grammar, punctuation, theme and content

Margaret Houben (second from left) is shown presenting the winners of the Barriere Writer’s Group contest with their awards at the Barriere Library.  Pictured (l-r)  Lorna Bergey

Margaret Houben (second from left) is shown presenting the winners of the Barriere Writer’s Group contest with their awards at the Barriere Library. Pictured (l-r) Lorna Bergey

Back in March, the Barriere Writer’s Group decided to run a writing contest for the public to enter.  There were to be three categories – Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction.  The theme – North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo, Scarecrows, and Heavy Horses.

When the contest entry deadline was reached, they had received one non-fiction entry, two fiction entries, and 12 poetry entries.

With six prizes to hand out, that unfortunately meant there would be some non-winners.  The judges had a hard job of deciding who would win.  All entries were judged on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and, of course, theme and content.

We are pleased to announce the winners and congratulate all who entered the contest.  Over the next two issues all of the entries received will be printed for our readers to enjoy.

Winners are:

• The $100 Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach writer’s gift basket goes to high school student Lauren Ficke.

• A $50 gift certificate from ABC Books, Kamloops, goes to Lorna Bergey, for her fiction entry.

• A two person pass to the movies, with drinks and popcorn, donated by Margaret Houben, goes to: Ayla Danielson, a high school student.

• North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo passes and rosettes go to; high school student Will Dana for poetry, Tessa Salle (age 6) for fiction,  and  Jeremy Salle (age 8) for non-fiction.


Here are the winning submissions:


by Lauren Ficke

For most it is known as a rodeo

For others it is a ritual to the town

But for me, it is a chance to show what we’re made of.

Whether you’re sliding up on that rope,

Turning that barrel just right,

Or auctioning off that heifer you’ve spent months working on,

The North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo is not to be missed.

With four jam packed days of attractions for all,

Kids ride the train, or maybe the bull

But don’t be shy, we all fall too,

There is camping all weekend,

Attractions all day,

And maybe if you’re old enough, dance the night away.

So you best be ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy the show,

Cause whether you’re watching,

Or maybe even competing,

The Fall Fair and Rodeo is not to be missed.


My Black Diamond

by Lorna Bergey

They can’t get rid of Spooky – Diamond and I will make sure of that.  It wasn’t her fault.  If That man hadn’t put up that stupid scarecrow, Mom would still be riding.

All the horses spook from the crows flocking around it when we ride by.  Sometimes it even spooks me when I’m walking home from school.

We’re normally ready for it, but Mom was in a hurry when she rode out with just a halter to replace one of the haying team.  Spooky spooked and she fell.  Spooky stepped on her ankle and now she can’t ride…

Dad wanted Spooky gone then, but Mom wouldn’t let him because she was pregnant.  They promised me the baby and that’s how I got my Black Diamond.

My Dad says, “He’ll be no good – spooky like his mom,” but Diamond will prove him wrong.

“Diamond will win the Halter Show.”  Everybody laughs when I say that.  They say, “A Percheron has never won.”

When Dad was loading his team for the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo, I led Diamond out.

“What are you doing with him,” he asked?  “There’s no room for him.”

Mom pulled up with her trailer.

“Becky, we can’t afford to haul one colt all that way,” Dad stated.  I handed Mom my babysitting money.

“Well, if you’re that determined,” Dad laughed.

Diamond will win, I know he will.  From the day he was born, I’ve brushed, braided, oiled and groomed him.  His mane and tail got three hundred strokes a day for a year and a half.  His mane hangs lower then his girth

We’ve gone past the scarecrow a thousand times, walking, trotting and loping.  He’s been sacked out, stood square and lunged – until his muscles bulge under his glistening coat.  He thinks he knows better than I do what’s coming next.  We have arguments about it.

Once, when I was babysitting, Tanner let Diamond out on a hot sunny day (with no sheet on.)  I cried and Dad grounded him.

That reminds me of how Diamond came to be.  My brother Tanner has an issue with gates, so Spooky, mom’s running Quarter ex-barrel horse, got in with dad’s Percheron stallion.  Along came Diamond.  Dad grounded Tanner then too, I love my brother.

But now, it’s show time!  There’s some serious braiding and ribbons in that mane and tail.  It took all year to earn the money for this outfit and his show halter.

What’s that man doing with the judges?  He shouldn’t be judging a show.  He can’t know much about horses when he puts a scarecrow that close to the road.  He’s coming over here with the ribbons.

Ya, I thought that dun would get one.  They’re good and he’s a beautiful colt.  Then the dark bay with the knee high socks – gets second.

I’ll bet That Man didn’t vote for us.  We should have at least placed.  We’re leaving, before he gives that ribbon to anyone else.  If I knew he was judging, I wouldn’t be here.

But wait, he’s coming towards us.

He hands me the blue ribbon and says, “When I saw you walking this beautiful creature past my scarecrow, I figured you would win.  This one won’t spook at birds, scarecrows, or much of anything.  Good job.”

Tanner and dad’s team won the Log Skid too.  The Percherons win again.

When we get home, I’m going to take Spooky past that scarecrow two thousand times, Mom says she might be able to ride soon.


Heavy Horses

by Ayla Danielson

Heavy horses plowing fields and pulling carts.

Always in our children’s hearts.

Strong and tall is how they stand,

Even in a marching band.

When night falls so do they,

In the barn in their hay.





by Will Dana

The heavey horses are pulling hard

Their load is bound for the lumber yard

But it is just a memory of days past

Against machines horsepower couldn’t last

Neither do they continue to plough and till

Don’t need to feed tractors when the’re still

The wagon roads have been paved for cars

And have been lined with gas bars

In with the new, and out with the old

But into the past, and the reins a few will hold.




Find more winning submissions and entries in next week’s issue.