After coming close two years in a row, 25-year-old saddle bronc rider Kolby Wanchuk qualifies for first NFR



Kolby Wanchuk finished No. 21 in the 2019 PRCA Saddle Bronc World Standings and then in 2020, he was 19th.

In 2021, the 25-year-old Alberta native kicked in the door for good and qualified for his first career Wrangler NFR No. 8 in the World Standings with $86,859, almost $20,000 more than he’s ever made in a year riding broncs.

Wanchuk was the best he’s ever been in a number of riding metrics. His average score of 83.1 in 2021 was almost three points higher than his previous career-best of 80.4 set in 2020 and he also logged more high-scoring rides than ever before, he had his four rides of 90 or more points after never having done so in first three years of pro rodeo.

The biggest of those 90-point rides came at The Calgary Stampede when he erupted for an arena record-tying 94.5 points on Urgent Delivery.

“Unreal, hasn’t really sunk it yet, that was awesome,” he said after the ride. “He had a little different trip than usual.....Just bucked hard, come around tight and is throwing head back, everything a guy could ask for.”


Wanchuk was more consistent in 2021 than ever before as he also had 32 rides of 85 points or more. Coming into this year, he had 20 rides total of 85 points or more in his career.

A strong season could have been forecasted all the way back in February, when Wanchuk made back-to-back 90-point rides to win San Antonio to win the rodeo as a Wild Card. Overall, he won $13,500 at the Freeman Coliseum.


His Texas success would continue into April when he won $4,322 for his second-place finish in the Long Round in San Angelo. He would also earn another $3,000 a few weeks later by finishing second at the San Angelo Cinch Chute Out. His two rides at the shootout began a three-week stretch in which he rode 5-of-6 broncs and averaged 87.4 points per qualified ride.

At the end of May, Wanchuk was up to No. 6 in the PRCA World Standings.


Through the spring and summer, Wanchuk stayed remarkably consistent and he reached as high as No. 4 in the middle of June and never slipped below the No. 7 spot. At the end of almost every week from April-August, Wanchuk was No. 6 in the world, although he dropped to eighth by the end of year because he only won about $7,000 in September.

In addition to San Antonio, he picked up wins in 2021 at the Cinch Worlds Toughest Rodeo in Des Moines, the Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo, Utah’s Own Rodeo, the Benalto Stampede (Alberta) and the Newtown Rodeo Days (North Dakota). Each of those paid between $2,700 and $3,800.

Wanchuk’s six rodeo wins set another career-high for him in 2021. In 2020, he had three and in 2019, he had four.


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