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Front page of May 1, 2024, issue of Shootin' the Breeze with Ayden Lucas steer riding

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – May 1, 2024

Going pro in rodeo

Ayden Lucas of Beaver Mines made his Kananaskis Pro Rodeo debut Friday morning in junior steer riding. The 15-year-old athlete moved up to the pro rodeo circuit this season with a first performance at the Medicine Hat rodeo earlier this month. He has been riding steers since he was eight and, in 2022, was invited to the junior world finals in Las Vegas after placing in the top 15 in the world in rookie junior bulls and rookie junior bareback.

 “He drew a tough steer,” his dad, RJ Lucas, says of Friday’s ride. “His ambitions for this year are to get qualified for the Calgary Stampede and the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and to eventually move into novice bulls when he meets their criteria, which will be in 2026. I’m very proud of him — he’s worked really hard to get to this point and shows courage in a sport most grown men are afraid to try.”

Tanner Milan, a cowboy wearing a black hat, reaches down to catch a steer as his horse runs alongside it, while another cowboy in a white hat rides alongside.

Tanner Milan and Eddie — A Powerful Partnership

Tanner Milan is on a heater, no doubt about it.
The two-time Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion is four-for-four to kick off the 2023 Canadian rodeo season after a weekend win at the Dawson Creek Spring Breakup, with a 4.4-second run that netted $2,243 for the Milan bank account.

The B.C. victory comes on the heels of winning the final two performances of the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals last fall in Regina, then chalking up top spot at the Medicine Hat Broncs and Honky Tonks event one week ago.

The 16-time CFR qualifier now sits number one overall in the Canadian standings, with over $8,000 won in the still young season.

His times over that four-win span are 3.6. 3.7, 4.1 and 4.4, which spells consistency, a quality that has been a hallmark of the brilliant Milan career.

“I don’t remember ever having a start to the season like this, that’s for sure,” Milan acknowledged.

 

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Of his most recent success, the 39-year-old from Cochrane said, “The steers were fresh there but mine had been run once for a no time so I had some good info on him. I got a good start and my brother Straws made a great haze and the steer was really good on the ground.”

It’s been a busy week for the affable Canadian as he and Chelsea [Moore] welcomed their second son into the world on April 18 — Kesler, baby brother to Standon Milan.

After a slow winter south of the 49thparallel that included an injured hamstring, which kept him on the sidelines for a month, Milan was glad to see his fortunes turn at the spring Canadian rodeos.

And he was quick to attribute a major portion of his success to Eddie, the gelding he acquired in 2020 from Canadian bulldogging legend, Lee Laskosky.

“They’d been team roping and barrel racing on him and he’d only run about 10 or 15 steers but, after the first steer I ran on him, I knew he was special and I knew I had to own him.”

Turns out Milan was right.

 

 

From the 2022 Canadian Finals to this weekend, cowboys have won over $200,000 on Eddie with the number-one-ranked steer wrestler in the world, Dalton Massey and outstanding Canadian dogger, Stephen Culling, along with Milan, padding their bank accounts on the buckskin.

For now, the top man in Canada would like nothing more than to keep the winning streak going. “I want to ride it as long as I can.”

Tanner Milan isn’t the only rodeo athlete with the hot hand. The brothers Schmidt, Tate and Kagen, kept their brilliant streak going as well.

Following up on their record setting (3.3 seconds) final run at the Maple Leaf Finals, the Barrhead team ropers were 3.8 seconds last week and 3.7 seconds in Dawson Creek this week ($1,750 each), making a trio of runs that border on the unbelievable.

Camrose bull rider Coy Robbins appears to be unstoppable, as he padded his lead at the top of the Canadian standings courtesy of an 87.5-point winning effort on the Calgary Stampede bull, 797 Night Walker, for $1,958.

For complete unofficial results go to rodeocanada.com.

This week the Canadian Professional Rodeo schedule sees rodeo athletes heading to Alberta’s deep south with stops at Taber on April 28-29, and Kananaskis Rodeo in Coleman April 28-30.