From a placing perspective, Denton Spiers couldn’t have done any better in his first year of college rodeo — riding for the Northern Lights College team, he placed first in bullriding in the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association regular season and first in the college finals.
But ask him, and he’ll tell you he could do better.
“I thought I could have rode a little bit better, but I was happy with it overall,” he says.
The Quesnel based young cowboy has been studying heavy duty mechanics at the NLC Dawson Creek campus, while honing his craft as a bull rider on the college circuit.
A bull rider since 14, he’s no stranger to the Peace Region, with his father living in Fort St. John and having competed in numerous high school rodeos up here.
The balance between school and sport is a challenge for any collegiate athlete.
“There was a few times where you get off school at 3 and you drive to the rodeo until 2 in the morning and then wake up at 8 and get on bulls, so it was a little tough that way. Getting home from the rodeo tired and getting up and going to school the next morning,” he says.
“It’s a little tough to balance schooling somethings just because you have to do homework on the road — it’s hard to get motivated to do homework when you’re at a rodeo — but it’s not too, too bad.”
Spiers was one of three charter athletes — along with Sierra Jones and Fallyn Mills — on the NLC rodeo team.
“It’s pretty cool to be the ones setting the pace for the kids to come, I think that was pretty wicked and then just getting to know everything, because everything was kind of a learning experience, and never done before kind of thing. It was pretty cool, it worked out good in the end.”
This summer, he’s looking forward to competing in the BC Rodeo Association and the Bull Riders Canada circuit, perhaps a few Professional Bull Rider (PBR) events. (He competed at the event in Dawson Creek in December).
Next summer, he’s hoping to get his pro card and make the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR).
For now, though, he’s still got a couple months of school yet before his semester is done.