Local bulldogger returns for fourth Airdrie Pro Rodeo
Bull riding is a dangerous sport, but the riders aren’t ones to dwell on their injuries.
Madden’s Skyler McBride fractured a vertebrae in his back only three weeks ago while competing at the Lea Park Rodeo, but he wouldn’t blame a disappointing Canada Day long weekend in the rodeo arena on injury.
“It’s darn sure not better now, but it’s stable enough that I can do this,” he said. “I’ve had two rodeos this weekend that I’ve had an opportunity to win and I dropped the ball.”
McBride was bucked off at the bull Rattle & Shake during June 29 performance at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo only two days after a similar result at the Ponoka Stampede.
“It didn’t go very good and not as expected,” he said of his Airdrie result. “This is a pretty important weekend. I’ve been injured this year and I haven’t been able to go as hard as I’d have liked to and this isn’t what I need to happen at these rodeos.”
McBride also competed in the Williams Lake Stampede, but finished out of the top eight and out of contention for the rodeo’s prize money.
The 23-year-old grew up in Madden, where his family owns a feedlot, and he and his father raised bucking bulls as a hobby. Over the past few years, McBride has been completing his agriculture business degree at the Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, Okla. where he also competed with the school’s rodeo team. This past winter was the first he’d been back competing in Canada.
“I had a lot of fun (in the U.S.), learned a lot of stuff and met a lot of people,” McBride said. “With the American rodeos, there are more rodeos with more money, but we have every bit as good of rodeos up here in Canada as they do down there. We have great rodeos up here, and that’s why you see the Americans up here this time of year.”
The 2012 season hasn’t been a complete bust for McBride, as he placed sixth at the Grande Prairie Stompede in May, but he counts the Airdrie Pro Rodeo as one of the top events he competes in during the summer. This was the fourth time he’s competed in Airdrie, and it’s one he will continue coming back to. However, he’s hoping for a better outcome next year and better results for the rest of the season.
“Hopefully next year goes better because (Airdrie’s) kind of my hometown rodeo, and I’ve never done worth a shit here (very well),” he said. “Hopefully it’s not too late in the year to turn it around and make the Canadian Finals, but it’s a bit longer of a road than I’d like it to be.
True to cowboy form, he won’t be blaming what happens, or what doesn’t happen, from here on out on his injury.
“Anyone who sits back and says that injuries is why they didn’t make it is full of it because if you’re going to be a bull rider or compete in any rodeo event, you’re going to take on injury,” he said. “You have to power through it and make it work when it counts.”