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As a competitor, have you ever wondered what it takes to make it to the top? What makes an exceptional all around cowboy? Brayden Lelek has it figured out. Over nine rodeos, Brayden accumulated 2745 points, over 1000 points ahead of the nearest competitor, to take home the coveted title of the 2019 CIRA High Point Cowboy. He is also a student at Lakeland College where he studies agricultural business and has been a member of the CIRA for the past two years. Brayden finds his success in the steer wrestling, calf roping and team roping aboard two horses, Cock-a-doodle and Zeus. Take a look below to see how this phenomenal athlete and horseman did it.

1. First, tell us about the horses you compete on.

Cock-a-doodle is a 15-year-old sorrel. You can haze, head and heel off him. He can pretty much do (almost) anything. Zeus is an eight-year-old horse that I bought in June. He’s my bulldogging horse and this his first full year of rodeoing.

2. Competing at an elite level how do you sustain a sharp mental game?

Repetition and practice. I make it a point to rope the dummy every night. You stay sharp and then go in with the attitude that you know you have worked your hardest. If it works out then that’s what is meant to be, and if it doesn’t work out then you congratulate whoever was successful and work harder for next time.

3. What was your biggest success this CIRA season?

Being able to take home the all around, tie down and steer wrestling season leader titles. I’ve worked hard, so it’s been nice to see it pay off.

4. What was your biggest challenge this CIRA season?

The biggest challenge for me this season has been the mental aspect. There were a few things going on with my family, so learning how to cope with that while still focusing on school and rodeo was the hardest part.

5. How do you keep your horses sharp throughout the season?

I just make sure that every time I back into the box it’s straightforward, and I put a really big emphasis on not overusing my horses.

6. How do balance your time and energy between school/work and rodeo?

Definitely planning. If I have a big assignment I make sure I do it before the rodeo because I know that during or coming home from the rodeo it wont get done. It’s staying organized, thinking ahead and being balanced.

7. What are your must haves in the trailer for both you or your horses

Well Zeus has got some wild hair, so some show sheen for sure. For me, it’s keeping a positive attitude.

8. How do you handle a bad run or find motivation in a slump?

I believe a lot of it is just mental. It’s as much about having a good state of mind, as it is the physical practice. You need to practice enough to have the physical ability, but also have the strong mental game that goes with it.

9. What’s your best advice for aspiring rodeo athletes?

That would be to practice hard, but also remember to have fun. At the end of the day that’s what we do it for.

10. What’s your favourite part about being a member of the CIRA?

The atmosphere. Everyone gets along; it’s not a stressful environment and how the rodeos are run works well with school.

11. Who are your biggest inspirations?

My mom and dad, because they have always pushed me to be the best, but also have fun while doing it.

12. Any people or sponsors you would like to thank?

I would like to thank my parents. They still help me get down the road and that’s very much appreciated.



What defines a winner? How does a competitor separate themselves from the crowd to make a name for her self in rodeo? Desirae Jackson certainly knows how to do both. Throughout nine rodeos, Desirae secured the coveted title of the 2019 CIRA High Point Cowgirl with 2460 points. Outside of rodeo, Desirae is studying to be an animal health technician at Olds College. She has also been apart of the CIRA for four years. Desirae is a notable contender in the barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying with her horses Blondie and Tigs. Take a look below to see how this phenomenal athlete and horsewoman reached success.

1. First, tell us about the horses you compete on?

Blondie is my goat tying horse that my family raised, so we have had her for a long time. A funny thing about her is she’s actually half paint. My barrel horse, Tigs, came off the track and she’s missing her front teeth because she’s got a little more go then whoa. Both of them are 14.

2. Competing at an elite level how do you sustain a sharp mental game?

I just try to be consistent all the time, and not focus too much on the competition. I concentrate on doing my best and put any pressure aside.

3. What was your biggest success this CIRA season?

Aside from winning the all around, at the Thorsby college rodeo I won both rounds of the goat tying. I had never really considered myself much of a goat tier before then so that was cool.

4. What was your biggest challenge this CIRA season?

Maintaining my horses’ body condition over the winter and keeping up my grades.

5. How do you keep your horses sharp throughout the season?

I do lots of long trotting in the field. I definitely don’t do a lot of patterning. I save the pattern for the weekend at the rodeos.

6. How do balance your time and energy between school/work and rodeo?

I wake up early to do a lot of my school, and to be completely honest I don’t have a huge social life. The majority of my evenings I spend riding.

7. What are your must haves in the trailer for both you or your horses

I always have oats because my pole bending horse is a little lazy and she thinks she needs a treat to actually work for me [laughs]. I give my barrel horse Zesterra, which has definitely been important.

8. How do you handle a bad run or find motivation in a slump?

I just remind myself this is the life I want to live - this is what I want to do. So I might as well enjoy all of it and not take in the competitiveness of it too much.

9. What’s your best advice for aspiring rodeo athletes?

Treat your horse first, and start as early as possible.

10. What’s your favourite part about being a member of the CIRA?

Getting to meet likeminded people that have the same interests as me, because you don’t always get that opportunity in school

11. Who are your biggest inspirations?

In rodeo, I would have to say Hailey Kinsel.

12. Is there any people or sponsors you would like to thank?

I would like to thank Sundog Solar, Agriculture Supply and my mom and dad of course. Also, special mention goes to my sister because she’s been helping me out since I’m in multiple events. She actually lent me her pole bending horse this year too, so she deserves props for that!

Canadian College Finals Rodeo entries MONDAY March 18th!

email accepted all day, phone From 6-9pm

please include

Name, Events, How many stalls or if self penning, How Many Nights, and how many banquet tickets.


Advanced ticket sales at canadiancollegerodeo.tickit.ca


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