Farmers and farmerettes flocked to Red Deer from all over Central Alberta last week to participate in two of the City’s oldest bonspiels.
The 72nd annual Farmers’ and Farmerettes’ Bonspiels rolled into the Pidherney Centre last week, welcoming around 240 curlers to Red Deer over the course of the five day tournaments.
About 44 men’s rinks and 16 women’s rinks participated in the ever-popular event, which has been running in the City since 1945 and has become a mainstay of the local curling scene.
“It’s really cool. Like I said I’ve been in it for 34 years as a city guy. It’s always fun. It’s a great week of camaraderie and urban meets rural,” said Rick More, who played third on Bob Gummow’s Agritrade team, which ended up winning the Farmers’ Bonspiel A final in a dramatic 7-5 win over John Buyks’ team.
More — who played skip for his rink in the final because Gummow wasn’t able to make the game — said his team’s A final victory came down to finding ways to win over the course of the week.
“It was surprising for us,” he laughed. “We found ways. We did an extra end when we were in the eights in a game where we were down 5-1. I don’t know it just seemed like Lady Luck was on our side sometimes.”
More and his rink didn’t need all that much luck in the final game against Buyks, though.
After a slow start to the Saturday afternoon contest put his team at an early deficit in the contest, More’s squad turned things around in a hurry with a huge five-point pickup in the fourth end thanks to a beautiful knockout shot from the skip.
“They were starting to pile up a little bit. We were kind of struggling the first three ends, it was tricky and they left a port open for me and I managed to get through it and just bump them out,” said More.
From that point on the team didn’t look back and maintained a one-point lead heading into the eighth end with the hammer.
“Like I said to the guys, I want to make my first shot not my second, so we stuck there to make it tough for them. That’s what you gotta do, right? Just put the pressure on the other skip.”
This was More’s first time playing on an A final winning team in his 34 years in the tournament, though he has won the B final once while playing on Martin Shearer’s team.
Also taking home prizes on the men’s side were Scott Cruickshank, who topped Ken Hubbard in the B final, Mike Sulzle went over Don Bonham in the C final and Evan Whittemore of Altalaw came out on top over Gary White for the D title.
Meanwhile, on the Farmerettes’ bracket, Kim Lewis pulled out a victory over Colleen Thomas for the top prize in the women’s A event, Corrine Lougheed defeated Helen Leduc in the ladies’ B final, Kerri Towers won the C event over Laurie Duncan and Mary Linnell came out on top over Melodie Belich for the D even crown.
This year’s triple elimination tournament ran from Tuesday through Saturday at the Pidherney Centre.