K’s Thomson is making a return to the Canadian Finals Rodeo this week after breaking the Top 12 barrier to qualify for the prestigious event. After missing the cut last year, the Lundbreck cowboy has earned a spot in the saddle bronc event.
A seasoned cowboy, he’s been home for the last couple of weeks working on the family ranch. Maybe a bit of a diversion from nerves?
“No, not really,” he says. “I wasn’t nervous at my first [CFR] two years ago. You do get a bit excited — you’re riding some really good bucking horses for a lot of money.”
The 24-year-old professional rodeo athlete is looking forward to the event.
K’s finished 11th in the saddle bronc division, earning just under $17,000 on the Canadian Pro Rodeo circuit. He’ll be up against some stiff competition including one of his travelling partners, Ben Andersen of Eckville, who took top spot on the tour with $50,300 and change.
“I’m probably watching the horses more, watching how they buck. I try not to worry about the other guys. There’s nothing you can do about them. Just do your job,” says K’s.
“I’m really hoping I can win a couple of rounds, get a good chunk of money. Ideally, go out of there with 30 or 40 thousand.”
He’ll have the chance to climb on a bucking horse up to six times during the week, depending on his first five finishes.
Like any athlete in the off-season, albeit only a couple of weeks long, he’s trying to follow a routine to prepare himself. He’s trying to eat healthy and stay fit and, of course, riding a lot of horses.
“I think it really helps me being at home,” K’s says.
The Canadian Finals Rodeo takes place Nov. 1 to 5 at the Centrium in Red Deer.