Winning on “Kingsway”

When you’re in a situation like Calgary, with serious money, the best animals, and the intense competition, it makes you focus.  You’ve got to be at your best.

When I come in to Calgary I generally like to be there an hour and a half before the Rodeo starts.  I walk in and really vividly get my head into it. I figure out which delivery my horse will buck (right or left) and I go to those chutes. It’s empty and quiet at that time and you can stretch and think about your ride and you can sit there, relax and think that in an hour and a half the place will be going crazy.  It’s fantastic, like the calm before the storm. That’s a really cool thing, I always like to get into that frame of mind, kind of figure out what I’m going to do, how I’m going do it.

When the Rodeo starts in Calgary and you make it to the group of 10 then you make the final four, there are four horses to draw from which are all fantastic. In 1994, I wanted “Kingsway” and I had a 1 in 4 chance of drawing him.

Then they came in and said to me you got Kingsway! It was like a wish come true.

From there it all happened very quickly.  There were 27,000 people watching, cheering like crazy, I had the best horse in the entire world and was riding to win the $50,000.  I pulled off a ride that I thought was impossible.   That was the first time I won in Calgary.  What a great memory.

Rod Hay