Bonspiels huge success despite economy

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The 36th annual Olds Farmers and 33rd annual Farmerettes bonspiels were both “exceptionally successful, given the current downturn in the economy,” organizing committee chair Gene Leonard says.

“We were surprised,” Leonard said during an interview with the Albertan. He said organizers figured sponsorship money might be down this year, due to the economy.

“In fact, the sponsorship was probably within a hundred or two of last year, either way. It was exceptional,” he said. “I guess it just shows what an economic driver agriculture is for the area.”

On top of that, this year’s events iced 36 men’s teams and 20 ladies’ teams, up six teams from last year for each side.

Leonard figures that’s because this year, the spiel was held just before Family Day, when many families take a week off. The weather was also great, thereby attracting many to the event.

“This year is pretty well standard. Normally we’re in that area, 36 to 40 (teams),” he said.

Another factor is the quality of the ice and the tournaments, Leonard says.

“Our ice is probably as good or better than anywhere else in Alberta, so we get people from all over,” he said.

“We’ve got one fella, Buck Birney, he comes down from the Northwest Territories just to curl here because he has such a good time and the ice is so good.”

There were four events on the men’s side and three on the ladies’.

Following are winners of each event:

MEN’S

A Event: the Adam Winter rink (third Aaron Winter, second Steven Winter, lead Brian Winter).

B Event: the Earl Grey rink (Wilf Edgar, Wayne Edmundson, Dorin Thorburn).

C Event: the Daryl Roberts rink (Buck Bernie, Stan Buckley, Bill Clancy).

D Event: the Travis Phillips rink (Don Brian, Svend Neilsen, Lorne Hersberger).

LADIES’

A Event: the Kim Lewis rink (Chris Donner, Marge Tyrkalo, Patty Houchin).

B Event: the Dorothy Dixon rink (Jackie Hodges, Irene Saunders, Val Schmidt).

C Event: the Shelly Bradshaw rink (Ruth Lind, Terry Hunt, Susan Peacock).

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“It was exceptional. I guess it just shows what an economic driver agriculture is for the area.”GENE LEONARD CHAIR 2016 FARMERS AND FARMERETTES BONSPIEL COMMITTEE

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.