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Meet the Member Danian Nutt
story by Lily Weinacht
Danian Nutt of St. Tite, Quebec, was introduced to rodeo as a teenager, and his youthful enthusiasm for the sport has never diminished. Invited to try high school rodeo by a friend’s uncle, Danian was skeptical at best, preferring basketball and wrestling to the rodeo scene. Despite his doubt, Danian wrestled his first steer when he was 16, and found he had a new passion in life. At 17, Danian added bareback riding to his résumé, and 11 years later, the event is still his favorite. “I enjoy it just a little over steer wrestling, since it’s more extreme, but they’re both really fun to do. I get a good adrenaline rush when I do well, and every time I get off a bronc, my heart is racing!” says the 28 year old IPRA competitor, who travels with several fellow roughstock riders, borrowing a mount in the steer wrestling.
Danian purchased his card with the IPRA eight years ago, rodeoing mainly in Quebec and Ontario as he followed his rodeo coach, Ed DeWetering, around Canada. His travels took him south into the U.S. soon after with his travelling partners. These included Luke McCoag, Tyler Foster, and Rod Weese, all of whom served to drive Danian toward his goals. “If somebody in our group didn’t ride well, within twenty minutes we’d have him thinking about getting on another bronc,” says Danian. “Having good travelling partners makes a difference, and when I’m getting on, I try to have close friends around me to tell me to relax and breathe deep. I also look up to Shawn Minor and Roger Lacasse, but my motivation comes from my love of the sport, and having so many great friends and travelling partners. Plus, it’s one of the main ways I support my family.”
A dad for the first time, Danian and his wife, Frederique Brunelle, make their home in St. Tite with their daughter, Ayden May Nutt, who was born in March. Frederique, who met Danian through a mutual friend at a rodeo, is a nurse at the local hospital. She also sells rodeo merchandise at many of the rodeos Danian competes in. Frederique barrel races, but hasn’t competed in rodeo, though she and Ayden will be travelling with Danian to a number of his rodeos this summer.
Danian and Frederique also enjoy skiing and snowboarding, and taking walks with Ayden, while Danian hunts and snowmobiles in the winter. Much of his free time, however, is spent training and keeping in shape. The St. Tite rodeo arena is within jogging distance of Danian’s home, a rodeo which he competes in every summer, and aims to win in the bareback riding. In between rodeos, Danian works in construction and owns a drywall company, Nutt D Contracting. “I started doing construction with my dad when I was nine, so you name it and I can do it!” he says.
While he’s not travelling as frequently and as far this year, Danian is working toward his sixth consecutive qualification for the IFR. His goal is ultimately ten consecutive qualifications, while winning both his events in the same round of the finals stands as another goal. He was the 2013 Canadian Finals Bareback Riding Champion, while claiming the bareback title for the Ontario Finals Rodeo four years in a row, as well as an all-around title in 2013. And though Danian thrives on championships like any competitor, as long as he has his adrenaline rush, he’s happy wherever the rodeo trail takes him next.