Logan Hay comes from a long line of rodeo athletes so it’s no surprise that he has made his way into the top 15 of the best saddle bronc riders in the country. Cowboy Lifestyle author, Hannah Crandall dives into what Logan Hay’s life looked like growing up and what it’s been like getting the golden ticket to the National Finals Rodeo 2022!
Hannah: What was it like growing up in such a successful rodeo family, and how did that affect what your dreams and goals have been?
Logan Hay: We’ve been going to rodeos since before I can remember before I could walk, so I’ve always been in the rodeo community. Even when we were little, maybe 10 or 11 years old, we would pack up for the wintertime, just homeschool for the winter months, and go to rodeos with my dad; and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I played hockey when I was little, but ever since I was old enough, I knew I always wanted to be a bronc rider.
Hannah: What was your childhood like on the rodeo road?
Logan Hay: Me and my little brother, Dawson, had lots of friends in rodeo and that was always the most exciting time for us when we got to go rodeo. We played hockey as well, and we really liked hockey, but we were always more excited to go to rodeos. I remember when we were growing up, we would play with the Wright brothers, it was pretty cool to grow up with those guys and look at us now. Back then, we were all just little buddies, 5 and 6 years old and now, we’re all rodeoing together.
Hannah: When did you get on your first bronc, and what was it like for you getting started?
Logan: My brothers and I actually started riding steers when we were about 12 years old. I got on about 20 of them and broke my arm twice so that was when I realized bull riding wouldn’t be an option for me. After that, I focused more on hockey for a couple of years. There was a while there when people didn’t think I was going to rodeo anymore because my brother Dawson was riding steers and then went on to compete at the Canadian finals, but I had nothing to do with it at the time.
I was about 17 when I got on my first bronc set, which is a little later than most people get on their first bucking horse. We were pretty small though, and my dad wanted to make sure we were big enough and ready before we got on. I got started in December of 2013 at a rodeo school, and our first rides were ugly. The first horse I got on, rolled on me, and then my brother Dawson went over the head of his horse and got stepped on. I think that’s just how everyone gets started though. In your first hundred broncs, you pretty much get in a wreck every other ride so it’s a pretty hard sport to get started in. There are very few people that start out and just pick it up really fast.
Hannah: What has it been like to see Dawson already find so much success and Devon (your youngest brother) find his place?
Logan Hay: Dawson has been to the NFR twice already. He’s had a lot of success, and it’s pretty cool this year to be able to go to the finals with him. I also travel with my cousin Ben Anderson, and it’s really cool to rodeo together with family. A lot of times, guys take it for granted but when you stop and think about it, it’s pretty special to be able to share all these moments with your family. Hopefully, Devon will be up here riding with us in a couple of years as well.
Hannah: Who are some of your closest rodeo friends or guys you travel with, and what is it like to be on the road with them?
Logan Hay: I’ve traveled with Ben since my rookie year, and we’ve kind of hopped around with some other people, but he and I have been together through it all. We get along really well, and all of us Canadians are really good buddies. To have this many Canadian riders with a chance at the World Championship is pretty crazy. This year is actually a record with six Canadians qualifying for the NFR, and we’re all such great friends so it makes it that much cooler.
Logan: What was it like to have been so close to qualifying for the NFR previously, and how did that make you really dig in and get it done this year?
Logan Hay: Last year, I missed it by $1,500, which was a bit of a stinger for sure. There were, you know, 120 different rides that went through my head thinking about how I could have done something different but I tried to not think about that for too long. I only let it burn for about a week, and then I just started focusing on the next year and really making sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
I set a goal at the beginning of the year to start in the top 15 and never break that. Then, I broke my ankle at the end of March. I was still in the top 15 when that happened, and it took me a couple of months to get rolling again but once I entered the top 15 again in July, I never fell back out.
Hannah: What was it like to go through the ups and downs of this season, and how did you stay focused? What is it like to be headed to Vegas come December?
Logan Hay: This year has been pretty special for me. I won the Calgary Stampede, which I’ve actually been watching since I was little. My dad won it four times, and that is definitely the biggest win in my career, and it’s definitely my favorite rodeo. That’s a rodeo that lots of people will tell you is their favorite in the world, maybe besides the NFR, which I haven’t been to yet. The atmosphere there is unbelievable, so to win that was amazing.
Then, I also set a world record this year at the Hardgrass Bronc Match, which is arguably the best bronc match in the world as well. I’m truly excited to be going to my first NFR, but I don’t think it will really set in until I get on the first bronc that I’ve actually made it.
Hannah: What would you consider your most memorable ride?
Logan Hay: It has to be winning Calgary this year. I was in the final four with my brother, my cousin, and our good buddy, which was pretty crazy. For all four of us to be in the final four was unreal. I was the first guy out, so I knew I had to make a good ride. I laid it all out there, and that has to be my favorite, most memorable ride.
Hannah: Do you have any superstitions or traditions before you ride?
Logan Hay: I don’t eat chicken before I ride. My dad used to do that, and it just stuck with me. I will not eat chicken before I ride. That’s probably the only superstition I have though.
Hannah: What advice would you give to a young rodeo athlete?
Logan Hay: Just keep chasing your dreams, and get on and practice as much as you can. The bulk of kids nowadays seem to not be practicing as much. All of us Canadians, for example, pretty much started about the same time, and we practice three or four times a week. Honestly, a big key is to just get on all the time and keep in mind that rodeo mode is a big thing.
I would just say to practice every chance you can and don’t get discouraged when you’re competing in a very discouraging sport. You can go a month or three without winning a dime, and it can make you feel like you’re not riding well, but you’ve got to keep your hopes up and keep battling because it will come.
Hannah: When you’re not rodeoing, what do you do with your time?
Logan Hay: I ranch with my dad, and I like to hunt and fish as well. Then in the wintertime, I like skiing and stuff like that. But most of the time when I’m not on the road, I’m typically helping my dad on the ranch.
hannah: Who would you say has been the most influential in getting you to where you are now?
Logan Hay: I’d say, my dad. Right from the beginning, he’s helped me, Dawson, my little brother, and lots of Canadian bronc riders. He raises bucking horses as well, so that’s been a huge bonus. We got to get on horses right in our backyard, and we practiced all the time. He pushed us to practice all the time, and we’re a lot better at it because of that. What better coach to have than an eight-time Canadian champion or 20-time NFR qualifier? There’s not much better to learn from, and just having him and the bucking horses he raised really helped us.
Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine
This interview with Logan Hay was created for the NFR Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early July. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.
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