Jordan Hansen has never wavered.
Moments after winning his first Canadian bull riding title at last year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo, he announced that his next goal was a spot at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
“I close my eyes and I see those yellow chutes,” he proclaimed. “I want to be part of that.”
The Okotoks cowboy took another step toward realizing that dream on the weekend when he won the Rebel Energy Services Bull Riding event in Red Deer. The CPRA event, the first of this calendar year, and second of the 2017 season, was also an Xtreme Bulls event, the first Canadian bull riding to receive that PRCA distinction.
Hansen noted that he couldn’t have hand-picked two better bulls than what he drew in Red Deer. “I had Too Dark 2 C in the long go,” Hansen recalled. “I’ve had him before and I’ve won on him before; he’s the perfect long go bull.
“Then I had X6 Ranch’s Jesus N Bocephus in the short round. I rode him at Oyen last year so I knew what to expect,” Hansen added. “He’s got a bit of a hair trigger in the chute but he gives you a chance to win every time. I was excited to have him again.”
Hansen posted an 83.5 on Too Dark 2 C, then added a big time 88 score on Jesus N Bocephus for 171.5 on two and a comfortable margin of victory. Second place went to Kamloops, BC’s Jackson Scott, the only other man to cover two bulls. Scott was 155 on two.
For Hansen the $3250 payday coupled with a tidy $2412 cheque for a 4/5/6 spilt at San Angelo, Texas that also wrapped up on the weekend, vaulted the talented twenty-three year-old into the top ten in the world standings.
Hansen, who still wears a brace on his leg when he rides, a holdover from a broken ankle that sidelined him for a good chunk of the 2016 season, was philosophical as he looked back on the start to his season. “I’ve made some good rides at some good spots,” he acknowledged, “but I’ve also fallen off some I shouldn’t have. Overall I’d say I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now.”
Nest up for Hansen as he pursues that elusive WNFR berth are stops at Tucson on the 23rd of April and San Antonio, another Xtreme Bulls event on the 25th. The San Antonio date means Hansen will not be on hand for the Chad Besplug Invitational CPRA Bull Riding in Claresholm that same night.
“I wish I didn’t have to miss Claresholm,” said Hansen. “Chad does such a great job there, but there’s a hundred thousand dollars added at San Antonio so I can’t really miss that one.”
No you can’t—not as long as that dream of those yellow chutes lives on.
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There were several solid showings by Canadians at this year’s The American that was staged Sunday at the AT & T Arena in Dallas, Texas. Of the eight contestants who qualified for Sunday’s Final, only Jake Vold and Orin Larsen in the bareback riding and Clay Elliot in the bronc riding were able to move on to the final four round. Vold, the three-time Canadian Champion, fared the best of the three as he matched up with an old friend, C5 Rodeo’s sensational Virgil, for 88 points and $25.000, second only to champion Tim O’Connell who was 90.25 for the $100,000 win. Larsen, the Inglis, MB two-time WNFR qualifier finished up 4th with an 83.5 point ride (and $10,000) on another C5 Rodeo product—Makeup Face.
Elliot who was one of the qualifiers eligible for the million dollar payoff drew Frontier Rodeo’s World Champion bronc Medicine Woman but fell short in his quest for the title (and the big money) as he and Medicine Woman put up an 84 score to finish 3rd overall for a $15,000 payday.
The other Canadians who competed on Sunday, but fell short of a qualification for the final four Championship round were World Champions Zeke Thurston (saddle bronc) and Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler (team roping) along with bronc riders Jake Watson and Layton Green.
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There was more good news from Texas as three time Canadian champion, Dustin Flundra joined the growing list of Canadian competitors who have qualified for the semifinals at the San Antonio Stock show and Rodeo. Flundra joins Vold, Steer Wrestler Scott Guenthner; Thurston, Elliott, Green, Lane Cust, Luke Butterfield and Tyrel Larsen in the bronc riding with the fifth and final bracket now underway. The semifinals at San Antonio are slated for Feb 21 through 24 with the final on the 25th.
Next up on the CPRA rodeo roster is the Chad Besplug Invitational Bull Riding event February 25 in Claresholm, Alberta.