Congratulations to Ha7ya Burt Williams and Katrina Williams who were inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday September 25 for their achievements in rodeo.
Their names were put forward by the Líl̓wat Recreation Committee; Lhptaq Councillor Maxine Bruce, Annual Lillooet Lake Rodeo coordinator; and Mr. Elmer Gabriel.
Elder Ha7ya, a renowned bull rider, won numerous titles during a professional career that spanned from the late 1970s to 1995. He won his first bull riding championship at the Armstrong Rodeo in 1979. In 1995, he concluded his career with winning the Canadian Senior Professional Rodeo Association’s Bull Riding Championship. Ha7ya was the first First Nations person to qualify in bull riding at the Canadian National Finals Rodeo. He came in third in a field of 82 riders.
Ha7ya remains active in the sport through teaching youth bull riding skills at Xet̓ólacw Community School (XCS), helping to hone the skills of the next generation of rodeo champions. He is a lifetime member of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. (See below for a list of Ha7ya’saccomplishments.)
Katrina Williams was only four years old when she started riding, an inevitability in a family that raised and raced Quarter horses. Soon, she was competing in gymkhanas and local rodeo events. While attending Central Wyoming College in the mid-90s, Katrina competed in college rodeo in Ladies Barrel Racing and Ladies Breakaway Roping before continuing her education at Rocky Mountain College’s Equestrian Program. She further built on her horse training skills with an internship at the respected Sapergia’s Training Stables. Still actively competing, she won her first big title at the 2000 Indian National Finals Rodeo winning INFR All-Around Champion Cowgirl.
Like Ha7ya, Katrina Williams teaches at XCS, sharing her horsemanship and rodeo skills with Líl̓wat Nation’s youth. She also teaches one-on-one lessons and trains horses. (See below for a list of Williams’ accomplishments.)
Líl̓wat Nation thanks both Háya7 and Katrina Williams for keeping the sport of rodeo vital.
Ha7ya Burt Williams Career Highlights
- 1979 Canadian Indian Bull Riding Champion
- 1979 Won Armstrong Professional Rodeo
- 1980 BCIRA Champion Bull Rider
- 1980 Won Cloverdale Professional Rodeo
- 1980 INFR (Indian National Finals Rodeo) Runner-Up for Bull Riding Championship
- 1980 Qualified to CNFR (Canadian National Finals Rodeo) in Bull Riding.
- 1981 WIREA Champion Bull Rider
- 1982 Qualified to CNFR (Canadian National Finals Rodeo) in Bull Riding
- 1982 Won the Williams Lake Stampede Professional Rodeo
- 1995 CSPRA (Canadian Senior Professional Rodeo Association) Bull Riding Champion.
- 1997 INFR Runner-Up for Bull Riding Championship
- CPRA Gold Card for being a member in good standing for 10 years awarded a lifetime membership in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association)
Katrina Williams Career Highlights
- Competed in highs school rodeos
- Attended Central Wyoming College, Riverton Wyoming 1994-1997 competed in college rodeo
- Attended Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana 1997-1999 Equestrian Program
- Interned from 1999-2001 at Sapergia’s training stables
- Won the 2000 Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) All Around Champion cowgirl, qualifying, and placing in: Ladies Barrel Racing and Ladies Breakaway Roping
- Indian National Finals 2001 Runner-up in Ladies Breakaway Roping
- Qualified multiple times for the Indian Nation Finals Rodeo
- Currently teaching riding to high attention students for XCS
- Hosts Líl̓wat Barrel racing series every summer