Opening rodeo of the year a success for Olds College

Olds Rodeo Athletes participated in their opening weekend on September 9 & 10, picking up many first and second place finishes
Olds Rodeo Athletes participated in their opening weekend on September 9 & 10, picking up many first and second place finishes

By: Jason Page, Olds Rodeo Coach & Brendan Stasiewich, Sports Information Officer

The Olds College rodeo didn’t just show up during the opening weekend of the 2017-18 season, they showed up and kicked butt! While the team may not have had a lot of contestants, they definitely held their own, beating many personal best times and scores the weekend of September 9-10.

Martina Holtkamp, president of the rodeo club, saw the event as a huge success for both herself and her teammates.

“It was thrilling to see so many of our athletes perform so well!” says Holtkamp. “I’m definitely looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring in regards to my own personal improvement and the growth of the whole team.”

Holtkamp showed what hard work and focus can achieve by posting back to back 8.5 second runs in goat tying- stomping her previous personal best of 9.5 seconds.

JB Moen, Bull riding Canadian College Champion and one of Olds’ most gifted riders, came in first place on Saturday and followed it up with a second place finish on Sunday. With each day considered a separate rodeo in regards to the season point system, JB has gotten a good head start on the field.

A great follow up is rookie bull rider Joseph Faubion. Faubion faced some adversity on his opening run, getting bucked off the bull after starting the ride phenomenally. But as all great competitors do, Faubion came back strong. Riding with control, focus, and determination, Faubion willed his way to a well-deserved win on Sunday.

Before he attended Olds College, riding seemed to be a pipe dream for Faubion, something that “maybe” he would get into someday. Nine months later Faubion, who now serves as vice president of the club, has a winning ride.

Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for Lausanne Hillmuth to make her mark on the competition. In fact, her incredible first place winning goat tying run lasted all of 8.0 seconds! Hillmuth wasn’t done just quite yet. The multi-event lady also managed to place in the breakaway roping event before placing once again in goat tying on Sunday.  

Rodeo Goat Tying Coach Gina Flewelling was beaming while giving both Hillmuth and Holtkamp high fives.  The respected and knowledgeable coach is no stranger to the rodeo, competing in the past as both a team roper and barrel racer.

Cody McGonigle had a great weekend in the tie down roping.  McGonigle was the only roper to catch both days; his Saturday run was over the allotted time of 30 seconds as he struggled with the tie on the calf, but he came back with style on Sunday, coming in first place.

“Calf roping is the hardest sport in rodeo to master, many things have to go just right to make it look as easy as the pros make it seem,” says head coach Jason Page. “Seeing the second year student not only placing but winning against seasoned tie down ropers is exceptional and quite the accomplishment.”

Asa Johnson, returning 2017 team roping year end winner, started the season off with a win in the team roping on Saturday as well. The talented heeler is dedicated as well as talented and Page mentions that we could see him in the pro ranks very soon.

In the Saddle Bronc riding, Stephen Hochstein showed fine form on a hard to ride horse that had thrown its rider the day before. Stephen placed second on Sunday and gained valuable points early in the season, taking some pressure off. Not bad for a guy who started riding saddle bronc horses in February 2017.

“I came to Olds with very little experience in riding ranch broncs, but really wanted to get involved with the program,” said Hochstein. “Our coach Jason Page and the rodeo program really made that possible, lending me the gear and giving me the knowledge.”

Its been awhile since Olds had a barrel racer in contention, and first year Olds College rodeo student Shaylee McMann placed 8th on Saturday. McMann competes on the professional circuit and is one of very few professional barrel racers in college rodeo.

Honorable mentions were Mariah Rudolph and Jacky Lockhart in breakaway roping, both placed and earned points. All in all, 11 out of 16 members either won a round or placed for points this weekend.