A Millarville steer wrestler saved his best for last en route to a national title.
Bulldogger Taylor Weinberger polished off his first Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals championship after posting consecutive 4.3-second runs at the Calgary Stampede Agrium on April 1.
“I knew I could keep up with everyone,” said Weinberger. “It comes down to one run at a time, I didn’t get too excited and tried to put one foot in front of the other.
“I missed on the first night and thought I was pretty much hooped at that point. I’m happy that I proved myself that I deserved to be there. By the second night it was meant to be.”
Weinberger responded with a pair of 4.3-second runs, over a second quicker than any of his competition, to come away with the title one year after finishing as the runner-up in the same event.
“I knew I could compete on that stage,” he said. “And that was big for my confidence both years that I’ve been there.”
Weinberger, a business student at Mount Royal University, leans on a strong support system to balance school and rodeo commitments.
“I’ve got to keep horses in shape, keep myself in shape, keep my grades up,” he said. “It’s a team effort, I get a lot of help from family and friends with my horses.
“I don’t have a lot of spare time. I’m super busy, but I’m busy with good things.”
A relative newcomer to rodeo, Weinberger has only been involved in steer wrestling for two years.
He’s proven to be a quick study.
“From the second I tried it, I went to a school out in Consort and on the way home I was already buying my first horse,” he said.
Flash forward two years and the new kid on the block is at the top of the college rodeo heap.
“This is a real big milestone for me and my career,” he said. “It’s really helping to give me some direction as to what I do in the years to come. This year I’m probably going to do the amateur circuit again, FCA, Wildrose and Lakeland.
“If things go well this summer then I’d like to go pro.”
The other finals winners were Arrowwood’s Kole Ashbacher in saddle bronc, Danny Vandenameele in bareback, J.B. Moen in bull riding, Karlene Weltz in pole bending, Hailey Tomm in goat tying, Jacey Crossley in barrel racing, Karlee Bender in breakaway roping, Brett Kampjes in tie down roping as well as Kampjes and Braiden Bach in team roping.
For more information go to cirarodeo.ca