Dawson Hay of Wildwood, Alta., made the trip to the capitol to compete in Boys Steer Riding in 2013. Now three years later, he is following true to form in the natural progression of a bronc rider.
This year he has qualified for the title in Novice Saddle Bronc and he is following the same trail set by his famous father, 8X Canadian SB Champion Rod Hay, and his uncle Denny, 3X Canadian SB Champion. Throw into that mix his uncle Glenn O’Neill, Canadian and World Champion. It’s not hard to figure out what they discuss at Christmas dinner…
You’d think the pressure would be tremendous; instead, Dawson is surrounded by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable support team who knows what it takes to win, and what it takes to ride out the rough spots. His dad Rod is his rock.
“It feels really good to follow in my dad’s footsteps; he helps me out along the way and I try to model myself on the way he rode,” says Dawson. “He always gives me pointers. It just feels good when it starts to pay off and I make the Finals. But it’s nice coming from a family with lots of successful bronc riders.”
The question on everyone’s mind is this: What is going to be your biggest challenge at the CFR?
“Figuring out how to ride the horses I draw the best I can,” says Hay. “I’ve been feeling pretty good and consistent at the end of the year so, I guess I’ll keep riding the way I have and hopefully walk out on top.”