Trick roper and rider Jerry Wayne Olson and his palomino, Justin Boots, made their third trip to the Ponoka Stampede.
“Ponoka’s very unique in itself. It’s a lot of fun. They’ve got a super bunch of people down there,” said Olson. “We like coming to Ponoka. We like the chuckwagon races, we like the people.”
Olson and Justin Boots wowed the Stampede crowd with an array of acts and tricks including bows, gait displays through voice command, and having Justin Boots jump into the back of a moving truck.
“He blows them a kiss,” Olson added.
Olson got Justin Boots when the horse was two years old and worked him as a ranch horse until he was four. When Justin Boots turned six, Olson started training him for the liberty horse act.
“I just do pieces of it, otherwise he just gets tired of it,” said Olson.
Justin Boots is the third horse Olson has used for this type of act.
In the past Olson has had a roman-riding act and a buffalo act, in which he used a black horse named Dude.
Olson began trick riding when he was young, sitting on his father’s shoulders while he stood on the back of a horse. “I started when I was 18 months old.”
He is always glad to return to Ponoka because it also means a family reunion. He has a brother who lives just outside of town.