Saturday night at the 2018 Bull Riders Canada Finals in Lloydminster will be one filled with highs and lows, championships won, and for one familiar face, a final ride.
Matt O’Flynn has been a staple in the BRC circuit since the association started in 2013, and he has finally decided to hang up his rope after almost 20 years involved in the sport.
At just 28 years old, the B.C cowboy has been a pivotal part of the BRCs success and growth in his home province, however this summer he knew his time to step away was now.
“I hadn’t planned on retiring, I just thought I might scale back a bit “said O’Flynn. It was on the drive to the Cochrane BRC event in August when he read an article talking about his childhood friend, the late Ty Pozzobon, and his family's life a year after his passing.
“It talked about how much pain and suffering his family has been through and that was an eye opener for me. I can parallel a lot of the story to my own life and I’ve been getting up there in concussions.”
The B.C native has suffered 15 in his career, including being knocked out 4 times this past summer. “The next one might be a bad one, and I knew at that very moment I had to retire.”
Matt’s journey started at a young age riding steers and graduating to bulls in the BCRA. “I was never that talented, just lucky, but I always went out and tried.”
Matt O'Flynn on Eno Bucking Bulls' 311 Done Talkin' at the Lamont, AB BRC. Photo courtesy of Wildwood Imagery
O’Flynn finished his 6th BRC season 24th in the National Standings. “My first season I stayed on 4 bulls and made the finals, now this new wave of kids is making it tough. This season I won an event, placed lots, made a bunch of money, and still barely sneaked in.”
Matt’s commitment to traveling across Canada for events has been a big part of him being consistently in the Top 25 each season. He will retire next weekend as one of the top riders from British Columbia and Canada. “I plan on going out the same way I started, and that’s 100% effort.”
O’Flynn’s friend and travelling partner Lane Cork (pictured with Matt below) will also be competing in Lloydminster. “I get to have my best buddy (Cork) there pulling my rope, that will be special.”
As for life after bull riding, O’Flynn says he looks forward to getting married next year, putting on his schools, helping his 16yr old brother pursue rodeo, running his family roofing business, and a new role as Vice-president of the BCRA.
The B.C “Wild Child”, as announcers liked to call him, will be missed around BRC events. Matt was always a voice for the cowboys and he hopes the newcomers go about bull riding like him. “Just keep perusing your dreams of riding bulls and love life like I did.”