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Meet the Member Wacey Marr
story by Naomi Loomis, Association Representative
In 2016, the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association expanded the opportunities for ranch rodeo and ranch bronc competitors to not only in the United States, but also in Canada. The WSRRA partnered with the Ranch Rodeo Cowboy Association (RRCA) of Alberta, Canada and, at the 2016 WSRRA National Finals, two Canadian teams competed, and two ranch bronc riders qualified as well. Representing Canada as ranch bronc riders where Wacey Marr and Arron Mercer. I had a chance to meet up with Wacey at the Broncs For Breakfast at the Black Hills Stock Show for this interview.
He is from Twin Butte, Alberta, a little town, estimated population of 10 people, which is about 15 miles from the United States border. “Actually there might be about 16,” laughs Wacey. He, his father Blaine, mother Mary Ann, and his sister Gina, live on their family ranch right outside of Twin Butte. Wacey, a fourth generation cattle rancher, not only ranches but also starts ranch horses and builds leather cowboy gear.
“My dad always told me that horses and cows come first when you’re a rancher.”
In 2016, Wacey and his traveling partner, Matt Robertson, traveled to many ranch bronc ridings in the United States. “Matt and I were living the dream,” said Marr. Wacey ended up qualifying for the 2016 WSRRA finals in the Ranch Bronc Riding where he placed in round 3 and 4, and ended up 4th in the finals average.
“I believe the first ranch bronc riding I entered was at Raymond Stampede in 2006. They snubbed up all the broncs in the arena, blindfolded them, and we saddled up and got on. And I was lucky enough to win it.”
As far as what the experience of riding a ranch bronc is like, he has this to say, “I would have to say sometimes it feels like a rocking chair, and other times like being tied to a gravel truck going down a very rough road, it all just depends on your bronc.” Wacey has a lot of experience riding colts which only adds to his ability to ride bucking horses. “I ride a lot of colts around home here, and do just general ranch work,” says Marr. “Shoeing horses and riding colts are the best gym for getting in shape to ride broncs,” he adds.
He explained to me about riding ranch broncs, “Ranch bronc riding takes more than just getting on and hanging on. It takes technique and skill. You see, riding a ranch bronc with your feet is definitely an advantage compared to clamping down and hanging on to your saddle, but you have still got to lift on your rein and move your feet to some extent or your saddle will beat the heck outta you.”
Marr has ridden a lot of broncs in his day, but his favorite that sticks in his head is a horse called Savage, who came from a cowboy named Chona Arcahchan, from British Columbia. “Savage was a wild horse he caught. He was a little wild and exotic, but if you got him rode, you would win first on him. Lots of money has been won on that horse in British Columbia over the last several years. He was sold to a pro stock contractor a year ago (Bar C5). I only drew him once but it was one of my most memorable rides.”
In addition to growing up on a ranch in Alberta, Wacey cowboyed for some big ranches in British Columbia. He also rode a lot of saddle broncs in high school, and held his pro card in Canada for a few years. All of this experience helped him become a excellent bronc rider. “Bronc riding is kind of a religion where I come from. We buck horses around here all the time,” states Marr.”
Wacey learned about the WSRRA from seeing some of our events on the internet and decided that he wanted to see if he could compete with guys in the states. “The WSRRA brings cowboys together from all over the western states to compete with each other. We all are cowboys that do the same job, but in a little different way depending on where we’re from. There’re good hands everywhere and WSRRA promotes our western lifestyle.” On the WSRRA rodeo trail, Wacey takes his saddle, phone, gear bag, wallet, and a feather that was given to him by a friend.
His goal, of course, is to win the WSRRA World championship, and to get to more WSRRA ranch bronc ridings down south with this year’s traveling partner, Dustin Sippola.
On behalf of the WSRRA, good luck this 2017 WSRRA Rodeo Season, and we hope to see you again at the 2017 WSRRA National Finals in Winnemucca, Nevada, November 2-5, 2017.