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Two Lakeland College alumni headed to Las Vegas

Scott Guenthner and Kolby Wanchuk will compete at the National Finals Rodeo this week and represent Lakeland in front of a huge stage.

Guenthner is a livestock production alumni and will compete in steer wrestling. This is Guenthner’s fourth time making it to the finals in his career. He finished the regular rodeo season in 7th place with $74,953 in winnings. The class of 2011 alum says this opportunity is a dream come true.

“It’s everyone’s dream and it’s not an easy goal to make. The
first time is of course a huge deal, but even after, it’s a big deal. It’s still hard work, it isn’t an easy road. Every day, you
just have to grind through it. And then you get there and it’s the best of the best. The first night you ride into the arena,
the hair on the back of your neck stands up – it’s so loud.”

While Guenthner has been to the NFR before this is Wanchuk first time making it to the finals.

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Wanchuk will be competing in the saddle bronc riding portion and finished the season in 8th place with $86,859 in winnings. Wanchuk says he can not decide what he is most excited about.

“The bright lights are a whole different experience. It’s the best-bucking horses in the world, the loudest crowd in the world, and I’m going to have a lot of family and friends coming down. I’m really looking forward to the entire experience, it’s like no other rodeo. And I’d also like to thank Lakeland College and the Lakeland rodeo team for all the great practices and lessons that were learned in the Rustlers arena.”

This will be the first National Finals Rodeo where Guenthner will be competing with a fellow Lakeland graduate. He says he is excited about what his and Wanchuk’s accomplishments say about Lakeland’s rodeo program. “It just goes to show that you can still make it to the NFR without going to the United States for school,” Guenthner says. “You can stay in Canada, close to home, attend a Canadian college, and still make it to the world finals.”

Geoff Brown, Lakeland’s dean of agricultural sciences says he is so proud of the two graduates. “It has been great to watch their journey from college students running steers and riding broncs in our Equine Centre, to living their dream on the most prestigious rodeo stage in the world,” “Both Scott and Kolby were culture builders on the Lakeland Rustlers Rodeo Team and they serve as great examples to our students with regard to what is possible with hard work and dedication. There aren’t many Canadian college rodeo programs that can say they have two alumni competing at the NFR. That’s pretty cool.”

The NFR takes the top 15 contestants in the world in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding and gets them to go head to head to take home their share of a multi-million dollar purse.

The event runs from December 2 – 11.

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