Quesnel’s Matt O’Flynn started the Canadian Professional Rodeo season in style April 8 – 10, as he finished second in the bull riding event at the Broncs and Honky Tonks Spring Indoor Rodeo in Medicine Hat, Alta.
O’Flynn, who is entering his rookie season took home a score of 78 and $1,381.52, while the eventual winner Jordan Carlier finished with a score of 80.5.
O’Flynn said he was very confident going into the event.
“I’ve put the work in and done everything imaginable to get myself to this level and now it’s time to perform,” O’Flynn said.
“I was definitely nervous but I felt really confident and excited because I’ve been dreaming of getting to my first professional rodeo my whole life.”
Entering his rookie season he doesn’t feel overwhelmed about the expectations and competing against experienced riders, but admits there is some pressure.
“I feel some but that’s only the pressure I put on myself,” O’Flynn said.
During his ride he rode a three- year- old bull named “Party Shades” who he says was a challenge.
“I had to really work for it during the ride,” O’Flynn said.
“The bull didn’t have a rhythm because he hopped out of the shoot, kicked at his belly and jerked me out of there. I was nearly bucked off, but once he started to spin I knew I had him.”
O’Flynn says he has a number of strengths as a rider, but the main one is that he is a worker.
“As far as talent goes I don’t have as much as some of the other bull riders I travel with, but I’ve had World Champions tell me that I have so much determination to make it happen,” O’Flynn said.
“I’m more an effort rider than finesse. You can be a good technical rider or you can’t. I’m not a real good technical rider but I have a real good foundation with my legs and I have the drive.”
Although he is proud of his achievement in the first ride of the season, he knows he can improve.
“I’m sitting seventh in Canada right now and only a few hundred bucks behind the number one rookie which is what I want to be this year,” O’Flynn said.
“For this first one to go so well it motivates me more.”
Moving forward he has a number of goals which include qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which is the top 12 riders in Canada as well as winning Rookie of the Year for the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, which encompasses every rodeo event. O’Flynn said having only two qualified rides at the end of the weekend was strange because it usually doesn’t happen.
“There was some really big names who are big time in the CPRA, but they just didn’t have their day,” O’Flynn said.”
His next events for the CPRA will be April 22 – 24 in Camrose and Coleman, Alta.