Rimbey, Alberta - After a career that has outlasted many in the sport of bull riding, Ken Siemens is putting on his spurs and glove for one final time.
Siemens, who grew up in Fort St. John B.C., has announced that this weekends Bull Riders Canada event in Spiritwood, SK will be his last.
The 4 time BRC Finalist will face Foley Bucking Bulls ”Wacko Jacko” in the Long Round this Saturday night.
He started his career riding bulls when he was 15 years old, riding in the NRA, BCRA, & WRA. In 2000, Siemens would win the NRA bull riding title and would follow it by filling his semi-pro card in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association in 2001.
“I grew up practicing with Justin Volz, Dan & Chris Hansen, and Cole Collins” Siemens said from work this past week. “Volz’s mom and dad bought a bunch of practice bulls and rented the arena and we bucked bulls, and I mean we got on a lot of bulls.”
A career that lasts over 18 years is full of many accolades and memories, but for the B.C. bull rider his best memory came on a trip south to 2002 PBR World Champion J.W. Hart’s event in Decatur, TX.
“I went down with Tyler Pankewitz & Rilley Evarts, and I won the long go with a 92.5pt ride. It was awesome to do it around guys I grew up watching on TV, guys I grew up with, and was something I’ll never forget.” recalls Siemens.
Like any professional athlete, the decision on when to walk away from the sport you love doesn’t come easy. For Siemens, it was an event in May of this year where that decision became easier. “I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple years, and as a bull rider it’s a decision everyone has to make. I was at a bull riding in Edson, AB where I had a bit of a wreck and took a horn to the head. I got knocked out for the first time in my career.” It was this scare that made the choice an easy one. “It messed with me, my head, and it’s something I want to take care of.”
A true character in and out of the arena, Siemens was always quick to draw attention with his unique procedures and energy. “I’m weird, crazy, scary, and I just don’t think about it. I let muscle memory do it all. I chew my gum, stare off and smile, clean my nostrils, and let my body do the work.”
His enthusiasm and love for the sport always made him a fan favorite and respected among all in the business.
“I want to be known as a guy who loved the sport and tried.”
When talking about life after bull riding, Siemens says, “I’ll never leave it as I’ll have my schools. I want to teach and help kids do what I was able to do for so long.”
Ending his career at a Bull Riders Canada event is also special for Siemens, who spent part of 2018 as a judge for the association. “We have had a lot of bull riding associations come and go through Canada, but the BRC has been awesome. Always good bulls, payouts were good, great events, and always great crowds.” Due to injuries, 2017 would mark the first season he would fail to make the BRC Finals in his career.
The sport will miss the renegade from B.C. and his chute antics, emotion, and competitiveness. But for Siemens, he will continue to always be involved in helping better the sport and its’ future competitors.
Saturday he will stare off, smile and nod one final time. “I plan on going to win. I’m not going to do anything different, I’m there to win every time."