Central Alberta’s top rodeo town can lay claim to another top notch talent.
Jordan Hansen, 24, moved to Ponoka last September to follow his girlfriend who got a nursing job in town. The bull rider, who turned pro six years ago, explained not much has changed for him since coming from his hometown of Okotoks.
“It’s neat to come here, having moved in with my girlfriend, and already having a number of friends from Ponoka,” he said.
“As for everything else, not much has changed with training and such. The only difference is Ponoka is a different place to go to rodeos from.”
Hansen’s most recent rides came last month at the Wangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), his first trip to the world finals in Las Vegas.
“It was definitely a lot bigger than other rodeos, basically the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) times 10. One night was crazy let alone being there for all 10…it was definitely a cool place to compete,” he stated.
As for his performance, Hansen finished up in eighth place in the world standings with just over $180,000 in earnings — about $250,000 back of the champion. He wound up with four good rides and was fairly consistent with scores of 83, a pair of 84.5 scores and an 86 on Tequila to win round eight.
“I did pretty good, but I definitely wanted to do better. I usually have high expectations for myself, but it could have been a lot worse so I’m fairly happy with how it all went,” said Hansen.
“However, a couple of bulls got away from me, so I was somewhat irritated with that knowing I could have put up some more good rides.”
His NFR appearance finished off a huge season for Hansen, winding up seventh in the Canadian Professional Bull Riders (PBR) standings and 41st in the world to go alongside ending the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) Pro Tour season in fourth spot, which was the same position he ended up in at the CFR.
It’s interesting that Hansen wound up in Ponoka after the great performances he had here in 2017. He was just one of five bull riders to make the eight-seconds in the Stampede’s preliminary rounds before being bucked off in the final, while winning the PBR Canada event held before the start of Ponoka’s annual rodeo.
And he’s just as happy to be placed in the same category as many of Ponoka’s current greats such as Canadian bareback champ Jake Vold, 2016 World team roping champion Levi Simpson and bull riders Zane Lambert, Wacey Finkbiener and Tyler Pankewitz.
“It’s really cool and pretty neat to be considered at the same level as these guys,” he said.
“I hope I can live up to the standards these guys have set.”
Off to 2018
In addition to finally being able to settle down in Ponoka, Hansen is in the process of getting ready for the start of another rodeo season.
“I’m just in the midst of getting ready for a few more rodeos and PBRs,” he said, noting he’s taken a bit of time to rest since coming home from the NFR just days before Christmas.
The start of 2018 for Hansen will be a busy one for the first six weeks. He will be in Denver shortly for both a rodeo and a PBR event, then off to Fort Worth, Texas toward the end of January before hitting events in Rapid City, South Dakota and Bismark, North Dakota.