150 Mile House’s Chad Braaten competes during the tie down roping event at the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals in Williams Lake in June of 2012.

150 Mile House’s Chad Braaten competes during the tie down roping event at the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals in Williams Lake in June of 2012.

Duo rides to top spots at Canadians

There aren’t many in the area who can lay claim to the title of Canadian High School Rodeo Finals champion.

There aren’t many in the area who can lay claim to the title of Canadian High School Rodeo Finals champion.

Ryan Jasper did it in bull riding in 2011 and, years back, brothers Ian Pare (bareback riding, 1999) and Rease Pare (steer wrestling, 2003), Keely Durrell (breakaway roping, 2003) and Willee Twan (team roping, 1998) achieved the same fate.

This year, however, 150 Mile House’s Chad Braaten earned the accolade at the event, hosted in Nanton, Alta. from July 25-27. And, it came in what he called possibly his most unexpected event — boys’ cutting.

“I hadn’t really expected to do that well, especially in the boys’ cutting,” Braaten said. “If I thought I was going to do well in anything it would have been team roping, which ended up being my worst.”

Braaten, a 2013 Williams Lake secondary graduate, along with Matt Armes, a 2013 Columneetza secondary graduate, have both spent the majority of their summers competing at the biggest and most prestigious high school rodeos.

Both Braaten and Armes earned their spots at the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals and the National High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, WY., July 14-21 through posting consistently strong performances throughout their high school rodeo season.

“We compete all season during the high school schedule,” Armes explained. “We start in September and finish in June. Every rodeo is worth points and the top 12 with the most points go to the B.C. finals, then the top four from there go to nationals and then the top six go to Canadians.”

Armes qualified for Canadians and nationals in steer wrestling and bronc riding. He finished first in the regular season in bronc riding and sixth in steer wrestling; however, because two people weren’t going Armes was rolled up to fourth.

Braaten, meanwhile, finished his rodeo season first in boys’ cutting, seventh in calf roping and sixth in team roping. Likewise, because some qualifiers weren’t attending, Braaten was rolled up into a qualifying position.

At nationals, joining 1,800 other competitors, neither cowboy was happy with their performance.

Armes, who was coming off a dislocated shoulder he sustained at the B.C. finals in June in Quesnel, failed to hang on to either of his two broncs and caught neither of his two steers.

“My first steer I rode by,” Armes said. “My second steer I got down but I wasn’t in the right position, so when he stopped I just flipped over his head.”

Likewise, Braaten missed his calf in the first round which put him out of the competition and was then forced out of the boys’ cutting because his horse was injured, and didn’t place in the top-20 overall in team roping.

“Winning it would have been over and above, but I hoped to make short-go and finish in the top 20,” Braaten said. “It didn’t happen, but oh well.”

Both cowboys, however, made up for it a week later in Nanton at Canadians.

To go along with Braaten’s first-place finish in boys’ cutting, he also earned a fifth-place overall finish in calf roping.

Cutting, he explained, is an event where both the horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate cows from a herd.

“Basically there’s a pen of about 30 cows,” he said. “You go in and you have four helpers and they tell you which cows are good to pick. You cut a cow out, hold it there for 20 or 30 seconds, then you get off it and go get another one. You gain marks if you’re really flashy and have some really nice moves on your horse.”

Braaten said he plans to take a year off rodeo and focus on his education and a science degree at Williams Lake’s Thompson Rivers University campus, prior to working toward becoming a pharmacist.

“I’ll amateur rodeo in the summer with my brother [Cody], and in my second year, I’m not 100 per cent sure, but I’d like to go to Alberta and college rodeo.”

Armes, meanwhile, received an offer he couldn’t pass up while the duo were competing in Rock Springs, WY. at nationals.

“Basically I got offered a pretty sweet college deal down to Oklahoma Panhandle State University, almost a full ride,” Armes said. “I’m going down there to take my pre-vet and that’s the focus but I’ve got to compete to the best of my ability.

“They’ve got lots of good coaches and practicing down there so my riding will definitely improve. But it’s happening pretty quick here — I leave Saturday.”

Both Braaten and Armes added they’d like to thank their numerous sponsors in the community, who helped the pair afford travel costs throughout the season.

Armes said he’d also like to thank his personal sponsor, Soda Creek Sweet Corn, and Braaten said he’d like to send out a special thanks to Kamloops’ Ken and June Hartley who leant him their horse when his got injured at Canadians.

“I wouldn’t have got there without them,” Braaten said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

Lil Mack has been a member of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy since its inception. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced Tuesday, May 11 that all washrooms on its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses will have free menstrual products by September. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
TRU to provide free hygiene products in all washrooms by fall 2021

“By signing the United Way’s Promise campaign, TRU aims to reduce barriers facing some students.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read