North America’s best cowboys are taking over the Brandt Centre this week and it all gets underway Wednesday.
The Agribition Pro Rodeo features cowboys from over North America, participating in events such as bronco riding, tie down roping and bull riding.
One of the cowboys tackling the challenge of staying on a bull is Maple Creek’s Jared Parsonage, who is the 16th ranked bull rider in the world.
Growing up in Saskatchewan means Parsonage isn’t a stranger to Canada’s largest livestock show.
“I used to come to Agribition to the Canadian Cowboys Association finals before it was a pro rodeo here a few years ago actually when I was still doing that so (I’ve) been to Agribition a lot of times,” the 25-year-old told the Greg Morgan Morning Show.
He said he tries to remain laid-back before riding bulls and doesn’t have much of a pre-ride ritual.
“You can have a conversation with me two minutes before if you wanted.”
Having knowledge of the bull a rider will be on can be key and Parsonage says he tries to remember every detail about a bull he has seen before.
“I’m one of those guys that pays a lot of attention to that stuff and watches and I don’t got a book but I do know them pretty good.”
Parsonage said he’s suffered a few injuries during his time as a bull rider and says concussions are probably the worst ones to deal with.
“Broken bones heal, it’s the brain things that worries a guy,” Parsonage said.
While it is optional, Parsonage said there’s only a handful of guys who will ride without one.
Despite the injuries and physical toll bull riding can take on a person, he said the hardest thing is the travel involved.
“Riding bulls is the easy part, it’s the travelling and all that stuff, that’s the hard part,” he said. “Come the summer and cowboy Christmas, the first of July (and) fourth of July, where you’re somewhere everyday travelling five, six, seven hours.”
He said the schedule for a bull rider is pretty busy all year around. He said if there was an off-season for a bull rider, it would be now with only two or three events before Christmas.
Wednesday night’s action is free and tickets are on sale for the rest of the week. The rodeo gets underway at 7 p.m.