BY ZACHARY CORMIER
The town of Alix was buzzing last Friday night as they hosted the annual Alix Ice Breaker Classic.
Cylas Bigchild of Rocky Mountain House was the big winner at Bull Riders Canada Inc.’s fifth event of the rodeo season, which took place in front of a packed house at the Alix Arena last week.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I came in here not riding anything, so it just feels pretty good to get a win under my buckle,” said Bigchild.
Because not one person managed to post a qualified ride in the short round, the young bullrider’s 83 point ride on Thompson Rodeo 231 in the long round was enough to pick up his first win of the season in the total point rodeo.
“That was just a nice one. Came out, two jumps to the left into my hand. I got a good hold with my feet and I felt comfortable the whole way through,” said the 18-year-old of the money winning ride.
Bigchild’s ride was enough to earn him a first place finish in the long round, which featured some of the top bull riders in the BRC, and put him in prime position in the short round against the seven other cowboys who managed to post qualified rides in the long round.
For Bigchild, the ride, the only 80-pointer on the night, was an important one.
“I came in here not riding anything. I just came in here relaxed and not putting pressure on myself and I made a ride,” he said.
Not only did Bigchild post the highest scoring qualified ride of the evening, he managed to do it in the midst of an incredibly rank pen of bulls.
In fact, by the time the short round came along, just eight riders, including Bigchild, had managed to make the eight-second buzzer.
The short round itself was even tougher on the cowboys. Not a single one of the top eight riders could hold on and post a score. Bigchild himself was bucked off by Banff Ice, although as the last rider he already knew he had the win under his belt.
“That was a good bull out of Outlaw Buckers,” Bigchild said of his short round adversary.
“I’d never really heard of him but they said he was pretty good. I didn’t know what to expect. He’s got a lot of power and I kind of got sitting back on him.”
It didn’t matter in the end, though, as the rookie bullrider walked away with a cool $2,400 and 200 points in the standings, enough to jump into 16th overall in the young season.
Bigchild said he doesn’t plan to stop there, though.
“I’m hoping to make the finals and become champion,” he said with a grin, noting that getting there won’t be an easy task.
The BRC Finals take place in Lloydminster in late October and only the top 10 riders in the BRC have to opportunity to compete for the biggest money pot the association offers.
“I’m going to work hard and stay focused the whole season and try not to put too much pressure on myself to win.”
Other Lacombe-area bull riders to compete at the event were Lacombe’s Miles Pennington, Eckville’s Jerett Nash and Clive’s Jacob Stahl. None of them posted a qualified ride.