A steer tries to take Clay Gordon for a ride. Submitted photo

Young rodeo rider looks to stay atop steer riding rankings

Quesnel’s Clay Gordon is the top steer rider in the BCRA so far this season

After six British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) events, Quesnel’s Clay Gordon sits atop the Junior Steer Riding Rankings.

The 15-year-old has earned just over $800 for his efforts so far this season but the sport is about far more than money for him.

Gordon says he loves the adrenaline rush and getting to travel all around B.C. with his buddies.

Those buddies have been making names for themselves too.

His cousin, Isaac Janzen, follows him closely in the standings. He sits at third place. The two are close but also highly competitive.

“We’ve been fighting over who’s going to get the saddle at the end of the year,” says Gordon. “So far, it’s looking like me, but we’ll see.”

The young rodeo rider practises constantly with Eric O’Flynn, brother of recently-retired bull rider Matt O’Flynn.

Eric has been making a name for himself in bull riding this season and is one of four Quesnel bull riders in the BCRA top five.

“Eric and I have been doing drills basically every day,” says Gordon. “We’re doing as much as we can to be the best that we can be.

“We go over to Matt [O’Flynn]’s place and get on a barrel and just practise form.”

Having so many talented bull riders surrounding him really helps Gordon improve, he says.

“We’re so supportive of one another, and you just want to see you buddy do the best he can. It always feels good watching your buddy make a good ride.”

Good genetics don’t hurt either.

Gordon’s father is Raven Gordon, a well recognized Quesnel bull rider who competed for 15 years.

He inspired a love for rodeo in his son, and Clay started riding cows when he was nine years old.

When he was 11, Gordon went to steer riding school in Bonaparte, B.C., and broke his arm on the third ride of the class.

Undeterred, he entered in the Quesnel Rodeo later that summer and hasn’t looked back.

This summer, Gordon’s looking forward to competing at home again.

He says there is a chance he will compete in the open bull ride, just to see how it goes.

Currently, he rides using both hands when trying to stay atop a steer, while bull riding requires riders to only use one. It will be an adjustment, but he feels he will be ready for it soon.

The 54th annual Quesnel Rodeo will take place from July 19 to 21 at Alex Fraser Park.

READ MORE: Quesnel rodeo athletes clean up in Clinton



sports@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Meet Tour de North cyclist Chris Fedoruk

Quesnel man is a community rider with this year’s Cops for Cancer team

Forestry Ink: Forest tenure changes are occurring throughout the world

Regular columnist Jim Hilton writes about forest tenure and ownership

Quesnel Safeway honours its volunteer shoppers

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safeway’s volunteer shopper program

Police name second suspect, lay kidnapping and attempted murder charges in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incidents

Drynock is considered dangerous, do not approach him and call the local RCMP detachment immediately

Grey Ghost to get back on track at Doug Larson Memorial Race

Quesnel’s Mike Spooner wants to race again after 17-year hiatus

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read