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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John’s own Jake Gardner was called up to the Calgary Stampede last minute after a rodeo in Colorado.

Gardner says on Sunday night, he was in Colorado and had a hunch that he might get an alternate spot in the stampede, so he started making his way back north.

“About the time I was going through Wyoming, it would’ve been in the evening, I got the call, and they asked if I could get there,” he explained.

Gardner drove overnight to make the event.

Gardner arrived around 5 a.m., had a nap and then got ready for the competition.

Unfortunately, he got bucked off Tuesday and again Wednesday, but he’s not discouraged.

“As a young kid, you dream of coming to Calgary Stampede. It’s the biggest rodeo in Canada, so it’s been a pretty cool experience, and I’m loving it,” Gardner said.

The Stampede continues through Sunday. On Friday a ‘wild card’ round will take place for those who didn’t place high in previous rounds.

On Sunday, the top eight will come back to compete, and then four from there will compete to win $100,000.

Gardner says he’s just happy to be there.

“I’m happy to represent the north country, and I just hope I can make all my friends and family proud and appreciate the support from up there,” he said.

Stephen Culling, another Fort St. John competitor, placed second in the first round for steer wrestling, earning himself $4,500. He didn’t qualify for the semifinals due to not placing high enough in the subsequent rounds.

Further updates to come as the Calgary Stampede continues.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.