The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc to the 2020 PRCA season, much like it’s done to all professional sports. ProRodeos were halted in mid-March and then restarted in the third week of May.
So, when rodeos opened back up, saddle bronc rider Kolby Wanchuk focused on taking advantage of his opportunities.
The Sherwood Park, Alberta, cowboy won the Coleman (Texas) PRCA Rodeo, June 13 with an 89-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Richie’s High. He followed that by splitting second at the New Town (N.D.) Rodeo Days.
Wanchuk is also in the lead at the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club 72nd Annual PRCA Rodeo, with an 82.5-point trip on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Empty Pockets. The rodeo concludes June 27.
“I have just been drawing good and having fun,” said Wanchuk, 23. “I’m excited to be back. This year I’m going to a lot of rodeos that I wouldn’t normally go to because that’s what’s on, so we are going to go. They are cool rodeos, and I got to draw Richie’s High, and that was a really good horse. I got on in Woodward (Okla.) the night before and had to borrow a saddle, and that was my first horse back (in Coleman) with my saddle. It felt unreal.”
Wanchuk’s recent hot streak moved him up to 17th in the June 22 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $19,444.
When rodeos were on hiatus, Wanchuk kept himself busy.
“I was working on my rodeo rig, and some of my buddies and I were gathering horses in the mountains in northern British Columbia for a couple of weeks in the middle of May,” Wanchuk said. “That was a first for me to go do that, and it was awesome. A buddy of mine’s family are outfitters up there. We were skinning some logs to build fence in the mornings, and then we would ride around in the mountains looking for horses the rest of the day.”
Although Wanchuk enjoyed his down time, he is thrilled to be rodeoing again.
“As soon as they started having a few, I got excited because they are shut down in Canada for the season, they just announced (June 24) that there will not be a Canadian Finals Rodeo this year,” he said. “When committees put on rodeos, we are sure going to be there when they do.”
Wanchuk has a busy upcoming schedule. He’s at the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, S.D., July 2, the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede (July 3), Mandan (N.D.) Rodeo Days (July 4) and Bigfork, Mont. (July 5).
“It’s going to be nice to kind of get back to full-time rodeoing,” Wanchuk said.
A year ago, Wanchuk just missed making his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo debut, finishing 21st in the world standings with $68,036.
“The goal is to qualify for NFR for sure,” Wanchuk said. “I just need to be consistent, not worry about too much and ride the horse that’s under me, one jump at a time.”
For more coverage of the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club 72nd Annual PRCA Rodeo check out ProRodeo.com this weekend.
Courtesy of PRCA