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What defines a champion? The answer is… this guy. Not only is three-time CFR Qualifier Straws Milan one of those cowboys you’ll never forget, but this Cochrane, Alta. native remains to be one of Canada’s best cowboys behind the sport of professional rodeo.
After picking up a second/third place check worth $4000 following the opening 4th of July performance of the 2014 Calgary Stampede, Milan says this year’s been dry… but he’s notably back in the game.
“Hopefully I’m on a streak, cause this is the place that you want to be doing it,” laughs Milan.
While the world’s top cowboys withdraw from the arena following the first performance of Pool A, Milan grins from ear to ear – after all, he knows what the ten days of Stampede is all about. Back in 2011, Milan won the $100,000 Calgary Stampede Steer Wrestling check and now this arena is kind of sentimental to him.
Even for the best in the sport of rodeo, the game is always a roller coaster ride. In 2013, he was our lone Canadian who competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, in Las Vegas. After finishing 15th in the PRCA standings last season, he says this year he’s fallen out of the standings and has just been waiting for his lucky break to kick him back into the game.
“I haven’t won a check since Wainwright,” he smiles.
The Calgary Stampede, is an epic event to motivate a cowboy to shake things up. And like any strong competitor, Milan feels that those seasonal bumps in the road, only fan his flame.
“No matter what, I like to win. Growing up I played hockey – I was always competitive. I won provincial championships all throughout high school. No matter what I do, I try to be a winner.”
While Stampede week can test any rodeo contestant’s stamina, Milan is more than ready to win the next go round and fire off back off towards his season’s goals of making both the CFR and NFR this fall.
“He has been a goer he’s been like that all his life,” says Milan’s father Murry Milan.
After all being a professional rodeo competitor and a star athlete, is in this cowboy’s genetics. Milan’s dad is President of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA), and also steer wrestled back in his day. Both Milan’s brothers Bailie and Tanner (the 2012 CPRA Steer Wrestling Champion) also rodeo hard. Indisputably the Milan clan, is one of today’s top Canadian rodeoing families.
Handling that edge that it takes to be a top rodeo competitor is for only a select few. But being that he is a Milan boy, his dad says it just comes naturaly.
“He tries to live life to his fullest everyday,” says Straw’s proud father. “We support each other and never leave any cards on the table.”
Outside of rodeo, this hard-edged rodeo rockstar works for his family’s construction company and continues to be a main hand in his family’s ranching operation.
“My mom and dad raised us to do our best,” smiles this 2011 CS Champion. “Last year I made it to the NFR and the Canadian Finals – I definitely want to get back there again this year. I need to get winning.”
Milan says he was very proud to be down in Vegas, carrying a flag for his country.
“I want to get down there again. I’d love to represent Canada again, that’s for sure.”
There’s no doubt that Milan has the heart of a champion, as he’s already proved it. Not only is he one style of cowboy who can win buckles in the arena, but he is that special kind that will come out of no-where reminding you that goals can be reached and that he is one of those great cowboys will always find a way to the top.