Williams Lake has a Canadian High School Rodeo Finals bull riding champion.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Jasper of Riske Creek took home the coveted CHSRF saddle after successfully riding each of the three bulls put in front of him from Aug. 4-6 in Virden, Manitoba at the Virden Outdoor Arena.
It was Jasper’s first CHSRF championship after attending the finals on two separate occasions in previous years.
Last year’s CHSRF were also held in Virden.
Jasper said getting to know the arena and the venue helped him win this year’s title.
“This year I just went over and it was kind of the same thing,” he said.
“Once you’ve been there you know what you have to do.”
What he did was ride every bull put in front of him.
Jasper scored a 66 on his first bull, leaving him in fifth place heading into the second round.
In round two Jasper scored a 75, his highest of the finals, which put him in second place on the day and in a good spot going into the third and final round.
Heading into the round Jasper said he knew he had a decent shot at winning it all.
“Being in the top three I going into the last day I knew I still had a chance to win it so I knew I had to ride on that last day, so I just did what I had to do to get the job done.”
Jasper scored a 70 in his final ride, good enough for third place on the day.
“The way it worked, I ended up winning it by one point,” he said. “I beat a kid from Saskatchewan by one point.
“I’m really happy with my performance. My best (result at the CHSRF) before was seventh a couple years ago in bull riding.”
Jasper qualified for the CHSRF after finishing in the top five on the B.C. High School Rodeo standings in tie down roping and bull riding.
Prior to the CHSRF Jasper was also in Gillette, Wyo. for the National High School Rodeo featuring the best high school cowboys and cowgirls in North America.
Jasper finished 11th overall in the tie-down roping event at the NHSR, which is the best finish by a local competitor in quite a while.
Looking ahead in his young rodeoing career, Jasper said he plans on taking a year off school before applying for rodeo scholarships.
“I’m looking forward to moving on,” he said.
“It all depends what the schools have to offer me, but lots of U.S. colleges will give out rodeo scholarships.”