Crossfield, AB: This story is a little late coming to you. It was originally thought of by Wyatt Anton. I’d like to thank Wyatt for that right now. He got it started with the first two paragraphs so those are his so you all know. I talked to Billy last month in Water Valley. Since it’s been so busy lately I wanted to hold off to make it the best it could be.
Billy Richards has a lot on his plate these days. The 2001 PRCA Rookie of the Year and Six-time CFR qualifier has just started up his own saddle shop. Between that, his wife Lindsey and their two boys Chet and Colt, ages three & one, there’s just not a lot of time for riding broncs anymore. “I love raising bucking horses and seeing them grow and compete more than I love riding them anymore.” Richards told in an interview a couple weeks ago. It shows.
The decision to quit riding hasn’t made less of his commitment to the sport, Billy and his family continue to contract stock to rodeos and are raising some great bucking horses including 2011 FCA bareback horse of the Finals “Rooster” and another horse “Steppenwolf” that netted him $12,500 when he was sold to Pete Carr spring of 2011.
Billy and his brother Jimmy have recently teamed up with Bull Rider and Contractor Skyler McBride to produce full rodeos on their own. Working with McBride will be a treat for Billy as he mentioned “I’m fine with having someone else to handle the bulls. I don’t really like having them around home.”
Speaking of home, Billy grew up 30 miles west of Cochrane. Just north of the town of Morley, about seven miles. “Out in the middle of no where”, as Richards explained. Doug & Jill Richards raised Billy and his two year elder brother Jimmy there. Home now for Lindsey & Billy is South West of Crossfield. It’s been great lately too, with his oldest son Colt mounting his first sheep at their Hometown Rodeo, Pete Knight Days, a rodeo the Richards Family contracts too. “All he ever wants to watch on TV is old rodeo tapes. He wants to be a cowboy pretty bad I think.” Billy said proudly.
A Cowboy is something his Dad sure loves being. He had quite the career in the bronc riding as you’ve already read. One highlight left out was being chosen to be a part of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. A cultural Olympiad took place there where a rodeo was held between a competing team each from Canada and the United States. “An amazing experience” was all Billy had to say about it. Probably something that words can’t describe very well.
The Oylmpics were only one year after he was crowned the 2001 Resistol PRCA World Rookie of the Year in the Saddle Bronc. That year he spent some time living and rodeoing with Billy Etbauer, undoubtedly one of the best Saddle Bronc riders of all time. “He’s a super super guy.” Billy added. “I always looked up to my Dad more than anyone though.”
“Billy was a great kid that was a lot of fun to travel with. He kind of turned into part of the family there for a while too. He rode good, tired hard and was always fun.” – Five-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Billy Etbauer
Richards also was able to travel with and become real close friends with Rod & Denny Hay. Two of the best Canadian Broncs Riders ever.
“Billy always came up with the most interesting one-liners and kept things on the lighter side. He had the ability to keep the whole truck in good spirits. He’s as positive as you can get and a real fun guy.” – Eight-time Canadian Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Rod Hay
Looking back on his career Billy Richards finished by saying “I just had an awesome time for a long time. It’s amazing how many friends a guy made over the years, it feels like I could go anywhere and know someone. The friendships will always be there.”
Billy and I were able to catch up back at the Water Valley Stampede at the start of June. I’ve been holding off on this video the whole time. I hope you all enjoy hearing a bit more about Billy’s Career in Professional Rodeo as one of the best ever from Canada.
Richards will be riding one final time this September in Cochrane, AB . He will be getting on the first horse he ever got on as a kid as his last one ever. It’s one you won’t want to miss.