Neither rain nor cold weather stopped the second annual Logan Parent Memorial Bull Ride.
100 Mile House was treated to two days straight of bull riding and barrel racing June 9-10 at the 100 Mile Outriders Arena. Logan Parent Foundation director and Logan’s mother Cindy Parent said 1,000 people came out to watch 30 bull riders and 15 barrel racers do their best to score high.
“I think it was a huge success. Even with the weather being a little bit iffy, we were still overwhelmed by the number of people who came through,” Cindy said. “It was a positive event all around. We all pulled together and everybody knew their job and do it so well.”
The bull ride is held in memory of Logan Parent, a young bull rider who lost his life following concussion-related mental health struggles. Through the event, the Logan Parent Foundation raises money to support groups that work to address mental health and concussions in the South Cariboo rodeo community. This year Cindy said they raised around $35,000.
Logan’s sister Sienna said her brother was one of those people who left a lasting impression on everyone he met. Many of those who take part in the bull ride knew Logan personally from his bull riding days.
“When Logan tried bull riding for the first time he found who he was truly meant to be but he also found his second family in the rodeo community,” Sienna said. “His passion for rodeo was undeniable which is what brought us to the event this weekend.”
Kale Mickelson was the only professional bull rider to stay on a bull for eight seconds on both Friday and Saturday taking home $4,500. On Friday Mickelson lost out to Isaac Janzen who brought home $2,300. In the novice category, Sam Harvey took home the buckle and $500 cash while Rowdy McNoltey took home the mini-bull buckle.
On the barrel racing side of the competition, Falyn Thomas and her horse Chilli took first place Friday night with a time of 16.523 seconds. On Saturday, a time of 16.996 seconds netted Dawnna Robertson and Starlit Cash first place.
While many of the bull riders were professionals, some were novices riding bulls for the first time. Williams Lake’s Degan Styran was one of them, noting while he’d rode steers before he’d only ever rode one other bull before the weekend.
“I’ve always loved the sport and I had a chance to jump on a bull this weekend so I decided to do that,” Styran, 15, said.
Styran said he found the event to be cool and liked the focus on raising awareness about mental health and concussions. It’s easy to get hit the wrong way and get injured and he hopes safer ways for bull riders to practice the sport become more widespread.
Standing out from the crowd of young bull riders was Quesnel’s Steve Hohmann who has been riding bulls for close to 40 years. While he had trouble staying on the bulls Friday he said that’s how it goes sometimes.
“I’ve been riding since I was 15 at the Quesnel rodeo. It was scary but exciting back then,” Hohmann, 54, said. “I’ve been really fortunate to do pretty good at bull riding and I’ve made a fair amount of money. I’ve not had too many injuries and it’s just a lot of fun with good people around.”
The key to success at bull riding, Hohmann explained, is simply believing you’ll be able to ride the bull. If you don’t think you’re able to do it you won’t be able to and he added you need to try your hardest for a full eight seconds.
Hohmann was the only bull rider who rode without a helmet, noting that he is used to going without. Back when he started out there were no vests or hockey helmets, unless someone has recently received an injury. Nowadays he thinks that so long as the protective gear is properly sized its best for young riders to use them.
“I’ve got some boys who are probably going to be starting soon so for them yeah I sure don’t want to see them get injured. If there is anything that can help them stay a little safer (they should use it),” Hohmann said. “They are improving it all the time.”