By Megan Roth
Lane Link travelled to Brandon, Man. to participate in the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association (MRCA) finals where he took top place in the bareback competition over the weekend.
Finishing in first place at the finals Oct. 23-25, Link was awarded a buckle and ‘a bunch of money.’
He placed second in the first round with a score of 79, then third in round two with 77 points. His 76-point ride in round three tied him in second.
This was the second finals competition he has been a part of since he began participating in rodeo events.
“I didn’t place last year, I didn’t do a thing,” Link said.
Link has been competing in rodeos for the past four years, participating in bareback events. He got his start in rodeo because he was looking for something to do in his spare time.
“I wasn’t allowed to play hockey as a kid, so I had to find something else,” Link said.
The atmosphere of the rodeo is one thing that brings him back to competitions.
“Everyone is really friendly, you get to make some real good friends,” he said.
The rush he feels when he gets on the horse is what originally drove him to compete.
“It’s the adrenaline, I think, that made me want to compete in the first place,” said Link.
To compete in the MRCA, finals you must be placed in the top ten of your event at the end of the season.
The end of the season, which determined who would be eligible to participate in the finals, was Oct. 10 when the Dodge City Days Rodeo in Wapella wrapped up.
“I was actually invited because of my top standing with another association,” Link said.
Link is currently placed in the top ten for bareback riders in the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA).
Link isn’t the only local who was asked to go. Four others went to the Manitoba finals to compete and were accompanied by another two who would have their part to play as well.
Mardi Yarshenko placed fourth in the junior girls barrels event, Blake Link competed in junior steer riding finishing in third place overall, Linden Woods competed in bareback also finishing in third overall in his event, and Shelton Udal was in the bronc competition where he finished in second place.
Local cowboy Slim Brown and Cabri’s Dwight Dokken also attended the finals as pickup men.
The MRCA is an amateur rodeo group that covers events, rodeos, and competitors in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota.
Link will be going to Regina at the end of November to compete in the CCA Finals Rodeo.