It was his first time competing at the Jace Harty Memorial PBR Event — Wednesday, June 24 — but Jared Parsonage walked away with the championship title after mastering 16 seconds on two of the rankest bulls the sport has to offer.
“First of all I didn’t get off to good,” said Parsonage of his short go ride. “I just crossed my fingers and hoped it held up.”
“I knew I’d have to ride to win it,” he added, referring to the calibre of stock the prestigious event had to offer.
Personage began steer riding at age 11 and graduated to the bulls at 15 year old. “For some reason, I wanted to be a bull rider,” he recalled.
His father competed as a team roper and his mother was a barrel racer.
“It’s something I love,” said Parsonage.
He is attracted to the challenge of matching wits and strengths with the beast. “I don’t like getting beat,” he explained.
Parsonage also feels competing in a namesake for a fellow bull rider that was much loved his community and the rodeo community, and who loved the sport right back, adds another dimension to the competition. “That’s what makes it all worth it in the end.”
“It’s a pretty big honour to come here and do it in Jace’s honour,” he added.
This year was the 13th annual memorial event and it featured 30 of the best bull riders in the world. Also riding were six steer riders, as Jace started out as a steer rider and it was said the event Harty always took time to lend a hand or an ear and coach the next generation of bull riders.
Thirteen stock contractors who entered some of their rankest bulls in the event. One bull that had never been ridden for the full eight seconds in a PBR event before was brought the Jace Harty Memorial.
A Calcutta was held to add a little more spice to the already action packed event and bring in even more proceeds to the Jace Harty Charities. The Calcutta raised approximately $44,550, with top contender Cody Nance bringing in $10,000.
During the memorial, in the spirit of giving back, a $2,000 cheque was donated to the Ponoka Stampede Rodeo Challenge and $5,000 was gifted to Mecca Glen School to help with its new playground.