Ted Stovin may be the busiest man in Canadian college rodeo.
A University of Calgary business student, bull rider and current president of the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, Stovin is looking forward to a hectic weekend as the Canadian National College Finals Rodeo stampedes into Edmonton Thursday through Saturday at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
“I’ll be riding and putting on the event working with production people, (and]) school (is) in the mix there. There’s a lot to it – there’s not a lot of time for anything else,” Stovin said. “It’ll be a big weekend.”
Couple all that with running his website devoted to all things rodeo, fittingly called Everything Cowboy, and Stovin’s passion for the sport is clear.
That love for everything rodeo, whether it be as the centre of attention riding a bull, or behind-the-scenes covering events for his website, or putting on events themselves, has Stovin craving a career in rodeo for years to come.
“Whether it’s through my website, or part of the executive of an association, or with the Professional Bull Riders, or Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, I’d like to be employed by rodeo some way,” Stovin explained.
“Anything I can do to be employed by the sport.”
Stovin seems more than on track to making that goal a reality, drawing on all his experiences, including his time as CIRA president to make connections in the rodeo world.
“The biggest thing I’ve got from that has been working with Northlands to see how they do things,” Stovin said of his time as president. “With them putting on Canadian Finals, if I ended up working with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association I’d be working with them a lot, so that was a great experience to meet all those people and see how they put on an event.”
While Stovin is laying the groundwork for a career in the rodeo business, first and foremost on the Drayton Valley cowboy’s mind will be a strong performance this weekend in his return to action after a sixweek layoff since his last competition in Vermillion.
It’s been a self-described tough season for Stovin, who suffered a serious wreck to start the year in January at an event in Claresholm. That ride, which saw Stovin get hung up to the bull’s flank, left the 11-year vet of the rodeo circuit with a wrist injury that seriously hindered his ability to grab his rope and finish his ride.
“I’ve been kind of off and on since I started. I got in a pretty bad wreck at the very start of the year, so that set me back a bit and I haven’t really rode much this year really,” said Stovin, who rode the following two weeks after the injury before taking a break.
“It was probably the worst wreck I’ve ever been in, so I was lucky to get out of it alive really. It shook me up a bit. I haven’t been shook up like that – knock on wood – the same way before so it took a little bit of work to get back, but I feel good now.”
“My wrist is what made me take the break and it’s feeling good again. I’ve got a brace for it, so this is kind of a new start of the season – forget what happened before and go at it again.”
Joining Stovin at CNCFR this weekend, along with a host of other college cowboys and cowgirls, will be incoming CIRA president and this year’s finals co-ordinator Nicole Briggs.
“The more years that these finals go on together the smoother it seems to be running,” Briggs said of the relationship between Northlands, who have hosted the CNCFR since 2005, and the CIRA.
“We’ll see how much of a different it makes each year when I work with Northlands again next year as president.”
Briggs, a University of Alberta student taking her bachelor of science in animal health, is in for a loaded weekend of rodeo action in her own right, after qualifying in a trio of events – pole bending, goat tying and her personal favourite, breakaway roping.
“Roping is my favourite to begin with, but I’m pretty excited to compete in pole bending. This will be the first time I’ve made it in a speed event like that,” said Briggs, who grew up on a ranch just outside of Gibbons.
Much like Stovin, Briggs is hoping her days in rodeo are only just beginning.
“I definitely want to continue rodeoing. It’s kind of something that sticks with you and you don’t really want to leave,” Briggs said. “For career wise, I want to stay towards veterinary medicine and I’d like to still be able to work alongside with rodeo in some way or another.”
As with the rest of the competitors this weekend, Briggs is looking forward to a break from her studies to compete and enjoy her second CNCFR.
“It’s pretty hectic, so I tried to get ahead as much as I could on the school work so the next three days I can focus mainly on just competing and not having to get assignments in,” Briggs explained.
CNCFR runs Thursday through Saturday at the Expo Centre as part of the Farm and Ranch Show, with start times all three nights at 6 p.m. in Hall D.
Source: Edmonton Journal