Rylan Geiger has earned the title of Saddle Bronc Riding Champion at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The 24-year-old Bracken native was named the aggregate winner and the champion after his spectacular performances at the CFR at Rexall Place in Edmonton Nov. 6-10.
“It was kind of a relief,” said Geiger, who now calls Cassils, Alta. home. “It’s been four years that I’ve been trying to get it now, so it sure feels good to finally get it.”
The young cowboy entered the finals in seventh, but quickly rose to the top for his first taste of CFR glory.
His first ride on Nov. 6 gave him 79 points to put him in seventh in the day’s event. The following day he earned fourth with an 81.75-point ride. By Friday he was at the top of his game, winning the day’s event with a score of 88. He went on to win Saturday’s matinee performance as well with 85.25 points, then placed second that evening for his 82.75-point ride. On the final day, Geiger earned third with a score of 85.
The event was deja vu for the competitor as he found himself vying for the title of champion against Taos Muncy of New Mexico – the same cowboy he battled for the win against at the 2011 Finals.
But this time it was Geiger who walked away with the win, defeating Muncy by $2,300. While Muncy took first place – just as he did two years ago when Geiger was bucked off in the final round – the Bracken cowboy gained 85 points, which made a world of difference when coupled with winning the average.
“It was pretty cool to be able to do that,” Geiger said.
The best part of the competition was going up against top-notch athletes such as Muncy, Dustin Flundra and Cort Scheer, he said.
“It’s just nice to be able to ride with that calibre of people,” Geiger stated. “Even if you don’t win it, you’re happy for whoever does. It’s just neat that the CFR draws that good of people to make for a better show all around.”
He noted he drew very good horses this year.
This was Geiger’s fourth time qualifying for the CFR. He was the 2012 CPRA saddle bronc season leader and the 2011 Reserve Canadian Saddle Bronc Riding Champion. The cowboy was also the CPRA Novice Saddle Bronc Riding Champion in 2009 and 2008.
This time around, Geiger didn’t feel as much pressure as he did last year when he was number one heading in. He took a “nothing to lose” attitude.
“Nothing was expected out of me like it was last year,” he explained. “I just gave it everything I had every night.”