by Chris Dize
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DENVER – Kolby Wanchuk made his first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge in December, now he’s building off that momentum as the 2022 ProRodeo winter season heats up.

He took a crucial early season step towards returning to the NFR with his win at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, Jan. 23.

In the finals the Sherwood Park, Alberta, saddle bronc rider matched up with the 2020 PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year Cervi Brothers Rodeo’s Vitalix Womanizer. Wanchuk put together an 89-point ride to claim his first title in the Mile High city.

“That Womanizer is such a cool character, takes a lot of rein, and tries his best every time,” said Wanchuk, 25. “He really drops out of the sky, it was all I could do to keep up with him and get my feet set. But I tell you what it sure was a lot of fun.”

Wanchuk earned $8,222 throughout his four rides in Denver. He hopes this is a finish that will point his winter rodeo run in the right direction. Wanchuk finished 12th in the 2021 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $118,195 and placed in four rounds at the NFR.

“Denver has always been my start to the winter, and I’ve had good luck here throughout my career,” Wanchuk said. “To win it kind of sets a guy up and now he can go have fun this winter and go see how much I can win and get things rolling for the year.”

Over the next two weeks, Wanchuk is set to ride at Rodeo Rapid City (S.D.) and the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo. He said his mentality has gotten him to this point, now it’s all about remaining consistent every time he saddles up.

“Stick to the basics, take it one horse at a time, one jump at a time,” Wanchuk said. “All I can do is go out there and do the best I can at the end of the day.”

Other winners at the $595,302 rodeo were bareback rider Rocker Steiner (87.5 points on Cervi Brothers Rodeo’s Ain’t No Angel); steer wrestler Mike McGinn (3.6 seconds); team ropers Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich (4.4 seconds); tie-down roper Kyle Lucas (7.5 seconds); barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (14.89 seconds); and bull rider Josh Frost (92.0 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Predator).

Article Courtesy of PRCA

Photo By Ric Andersen

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