While he still has mighty big cowboy boots to fill, Eric O’Flynn is doing his best to make sure his surname is still a topic of conversation in B.C. rodeo circles.
The first-year bull rider had a fantastic debut season and was honoured for it this Saturday (Oct. 26) in Barriere at the annual British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) awards.
O’Flynn finished third in the standings this year, winning $6,324 in prize money and earning the respect of his peers.
Thanks to a steady performance, he was given the Rookie of the Year award
As a nice touch, his brother Matt — who retired from bull riding last year and is now BCRA vice-president — presented the award to him, which Eric says was “super cool.”
The brothers gave each other a big bear squeeze and then met up with mother Lisa O’Flynn to celebrate the victory.
Eric says the year was a terrific one, and he wants to keep the ball rolling.
“I’m going to California to ride bulls and practise down there,” he says of his immediate plans. “I made a little bit of money this year, which was awesome, so now I’m just going to practise all winter.”
He says he has been accepted to go down to Judd Leffew’s ranch and is looking forward to rapidly improving.
While the future is foremost on his mind, he still holds some memories from this season close.
“Chilliwack was probably the biggest highlight for me,” he says. “That was a sweet ride. I covered a good bull and there was a huge crowd there.
“I also rode two bulls at finals, which was super sweet.”
Matt is exceptionally pleased with his little brother’s success.
“I never expected any of my brothers to follow in my footsteps and the fact that he’s already a rising star makes me more proud and more happy and excited for him than I’ve ever felt for myself actually. He can go as far as he wants; I can already see it.”