Westwind Weekly News
Residents of Del Bonita, Cardston, Magrath and Raymond flocked to Medicine Hat over the weekend to participate in the Broncs and Honky Tonks Spring Indoor Rodeo.
Riley Wilson, 42, a Cardston-based cowboy and rancher, has been involved in rodeo his entire adult life.
He participated in the team roping event with his brother-in-law from Water Valley, Mark Nugent, on April 7.
“It’s actually the event I’ve done professionally for the past 20 years,” said Wilson.
“Team roping is kind of like golf, where it doesn’t matter your age, your gender, whatever, everybody can team rope.”
Wilson has a personal connection to rodeo in Medicine Hat — his former roping partner is Kevin Schreiner, a Hatter cowboy.
Last year, Wilson crossed the border to participate in a U.S. rodeo, ranking 37th internationally.
“It was a good year on some standards, but it’s not where I really wanted to end up,” he said. “It is what it is.
“Top 40 — 37th in the world — is pretty good.”
The year before, he won the United States Team Roping Championship in Oklahoma City, making him the first Canadian to win the title.
“That’s a pretty prestigious (award), probably one of the highlight wins of my life,” said Wilson.
True to his passion, he used the $50,000 he won to purchase more cattle.
The major difference between American and Canadian rodeos is a matter of scale, he said.
“At the big rodeos in the States, there’s more competitors,” said Wilson. “The competition still, on either side of the border, if you want to win, it’s still tough.”
Wilson and Nugent were done quickly at their event, failing to earn any points.
In addition to Wilson, the Hat rodeo included Blake Newton of Del Bonita, who came in second in steer wrestling with a score of 15.8; Dustin Mandel of Magrath, who scored 13.4 in tie down roping; Mareena Blackmore of Cardston; as well as Chase and Logan Hofer of Magrath, among others.