A Bluffton cowboy and rising star in the world of steer riding recently made the short go at the Calgary Stampede and won his division at the Rimbey Rodeo.
This was the first year Dylan Conners competed at the Calgary Stampede and after an initial 70.5 ride on opening day he was good enough to come back as one of six for the short go.
He bucked off in the short go but placed fifth in the aggregate.
“I was excited and nervous,” said Conners.
After making his ride so early in the Stampede Conners says it was agonizing watching 30 other boys take their turns Sunday through Thursday.
For his long go ride Conners had fairly straight shooter who jumped her way out of the chute and down the arena. “It was kind of easy.”
His short go draw was a little more wild and he knew if he was able to master the eight seconds together they would bring in a great score.
“My friend, he got her the first day in the slack. She came out and spun in front of the gate. Her first footprint was still in the chute,” said Conners.
For his short go ride the animal got more jumpy but when she did start to spin she dropped her back end, throwing Conners’ balance off and sending him down early.
He also came face-to-face with his bull- riding idol JB Mauney. “He signed my back number,” said Conners.
Conners studies Mauney online and in videos to help improve his own riding.
Conners was also the only steer rider at the Calgary Stampede with bright pink hair, taking Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day to a whole new level in support of breast cancer. His chaps also sport the breast cancer ribbon.
“My Nana and my uncle passed away from cancer. Just an idea popped up in my head that I wanted to dye my hair pink,” Conners explained. This is not the first time Conners has sported a neon ‘do and he usually makes his rides with a pink Mohawk.
For Conners, winning the 7 to 12 steer riding at the Rimbey Rodeo was special in a different way. “It’s like a hometown rodeo.”
This was the last year Conners could compete in that event and next year he will ride in the 13 to 15 steer riding as he continues his journey to pro bull rider.