‘Quint’essential bronc rider
December 27, 2017
The 2017 finals didn't go as swimmingly for Justin Quint as the prior two Western States Ranch Rodeo Association (WSRRA) National Finals Rodeo. Quint was the world champion ranch saddle bronc rider in 2015 and 2016. This year he had to settle for reserve champion after breaking his fibula in two places, and having to forfeit riding his two broncs on Sunday.
This year, Quint competed in 26 WSRRA-sanctioned ranch rodeo saddle bronc competitions and six non-sanctioned ranch rodeos. He rode 53 broncs total and was bucked off of only four of them. He drove more than 21,000 miles through Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado.
He injured his knee the first weekend in September on a big grey bronc in Winner, South Dakota, and allowed it to heal as best he could before finals the last weekend in October.
"When I reached up and set my feet, I hyperextended it, partially tearing the MCL," Quint said. "As soon as I got home, I started in with a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine. I went in to her twice a week until finals. That was on my left leg. The first bronc after that, I broke my right leg."
His first bronc at finals ran along the fence, causing Quint to hook a toe, twisting his leg back and breaking his fibula. Of the 153 broncs he has stepped on in the last three years that ran along the fences, and the many he got on before that, this has never happened, he said. It was just a fluke, but one that will cost him a year of not riding broncs. He rode another bronc Saturday night with his broken fibula, then decided he couldn't try it again Sunday.
"Going into finals, I was sitting number one; I had a 67-point lead. I rode another bronc and realized how much pain I was in. My right leg was just hanging there. At that level I couldn't be competitive; if I couldn't place, I might as well sit it out," Quint said. "My leg told me that Sunday morning when I woke up."
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"Justin's ability to ride bucking horses is a gift. He is a two-time WSRRA world champion ranch bronc rider, along with many other wins," Naomi Loomis, WSRRA director, said. "Coming into the 2017 WSRRA National Finals, Justin had his eye on being the WSRRA World Champion for the third year in a row but luck was not in his favor. During the first round, the horse bucked across the arena and then bucked up against the fence, where Justin's foot got caught in the arena fence. He made the whistle with a 76. He walked out of the arena, but we all knew that it was broke. But being a cowboy with a goal in mind, he taped it and rode his second bronc of the finals. After not being able to put his boot on, Justin drew out of the third and fourth round at the WSRRA National Finals."
He is also unable, at this time, to work and has returned from Nebraska to his hometown of Akron, Colorado, to the ranch where his dad has worked for three decades. Quint hasn't asked doctors just how long it will be before he can work, though he's estimating several weeks to a month.
"I was hoping they would put me in a walking boot so I could start going around and doing something, but they didn't. It's a waiting game," he said.
He is one of many cowboys who isn't covered by insurance, a big reason, Loomis said, she wanted to be part of several fundraisers for Quint. Loomis and Quint are both directors for WSRRA.
"When I started producing ranch bronc ridings 10 years ago, I would have never imagined the amount of friendships that I have gained and Justin Quint is one of those," Loomis said. "He is a one-in-a-million cowboy that can ride bucking horses; he is dependable, and I am proud to call him a friend."
Loomis helped coordinate an online fundraiser auction with Amanda Mathis. Amanda and her husband Jason also hosted the Justin Quint Invitational 2017 in Akron, featuring bronc riding, bull riding, stray gathering, and mini bulls event, Nov. 25.
"They threw that together a couple weeks ago, and they've done a heck of a job just getting it out there. I'm thankful we have people like that still out there," Quint said.
He has also received support from a personal sponsor Empire Leather, who donated chinks or armitas to the first place bronc rider and a 50 percent donation of chinks or armitas to the second place bronc rider at the Justin Quint Invitational.
Loomis will create benefit opportunities for her friend at the Ranch Bronc Bash, Jan. 6, 2018, in Torrington, Wyoming.
Quint has no plans to quit ranch saddle bronc riding for good. He's been at it for many years and is good at it. Of those 153 broncs Quint slung his saddle on the last three years, he has only been bucked off of eight, a 95 percent success rate. He has qualified for the past five WSRRA finals.
"Getting on a bronc, I'm past nerves, but a lot depends on who's there," Quint said. "There are people I look up to and that makes me nervous more than anything. As far as the horses, I don't worry about it, just go do your job."
He became a WSRRA representative in 2013, the first year he went to finals. In 2015, he was bumped up to director. While he is aware of his other director tasks, Quint's focus is narrowed in on the bronc riders.
"I make sure the producers understand what they need to get done for the association and that judges are on the same page, and they know what they're looking for in the ranch bronc riding," he said. "I always try to be there for the bronc rider, whether there's a discrepancy with the judge or producer, they can come to me and I can go to them, then the judges or producer isn't bombarded with 16 bronc riders. We also make sure our national sponsors are recognized and taken care of."
In high school, Quint roped calves and team roped in high school rodeo but didn't start riding bucking horses until 2006, other than one stint in 1998.
"I competed in bareback riding at the county fair. They had a pretty nice buckle, and I was told to hang on until you get a buckle. That was the only time," he said.
He's a self-taught bronc rider; his saying is that he watched Monte Walsh a few too many times. Either way, he found his niche, and one day soon, he'll get back to it.
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