Jake Burwash during rodeoJake Burwash at a rodeo championship in 2015

Jake Burwash, teen rodeo star, stunt double on Heartland and one of Alberta's top young rodeo riders is intent on following his father's footsteps.

Once one of the best cowboy in the land, Robin Burwash was the Canadian bareback champion four times and twice won the $50,000 prize at the Calgary Stampede.

Jake grew up on rodeo and is now well on his way doing college rodeo on a scholarship in Arizonia with hopes to go pro soon.

When did you decide you wanted to be a cowboy?
Well I'm not really sure when I decided, I grew up every day being cowboy. My kindergarten class picture probably has me with my cowboy hat and chaps on. It was pretty simple to see I just grew up cowboy, to say the least.

What do you love about rodeo?
I love that rodeo is family. Throughout my high school years and now beginning college, I've made relationships with people that have become as close as family. There are no borders in rodeo and everyone can enjoy it.

What's your favorite event, why?
It's a toss up between Tie Down Roping and Saddle Bronc Riding for my favorite event. These events have a lot of technical aspects that make it a challenge and who doesn’t love a challenge?

Jake on horse with dad as childJake Burwash, child cowboy

What have you learned about life from rodeo?
Rodeo has taught me so much. I think two of the main things you learn is that even when you try your very best, sometimes things don’t work out, but there is always something to be learned no matter the outcome. You just can’t take life too seriously. God has His plan, so you might as well enjoy the ride. 

What is the best part of cowboy life?
The heritage. Cowboys just love to be alive and live it all for what they love. That has been passed down for generations now and I wouldn’t want it to stop anytime soon.

How is your life different from the average Canadian teen?
To be honest, I couldn’t tell you the difference between my life and an average teen. I would say it's similar to any teen whose life is sports related. You live, breathe, sweat and sometimes smell your sport and I don’t think that there any difference from that perspective.

Jake Burwash with his dad RobinRobin Burwash and his son, Jake, at a rodeo meet

How did having a famous rodeo dad influence you?
To me, my Dad is a great father and that’s all there is, no fame has changed that about him. The thing about rodeo is that famous or not, you are opened to a large population of people throughout North America. I believe that is what influenced me the most is the broad range of people that I have been able to meet through my dad. 

What was like it working on Heartland?
Working on Heartland was a pretty cool deal if you ask me; I got to spend time with some of the greatest people in their field to display a culture that I love. Heartland displays aspects of rodeo and western lifestyle and that I believe, is a huge step in keeping the lifestyle popular. Note: you might catch a glimpse of Jake here or here on Heartland.

Is the show an accurate portrayal of rodeo and life in the west?
To say that life in the west is quite old-fashioned, yes I believe so. Rodeo is displayed quite well through Heartland, many if not all, events taken place have or could happen in reality. The western lifestyle, I believe, is taken away from slightly through the need for the show to be a reality drama series. You just can’t cram everything you want into one episode.

Has your wrist injury healed?
Yes the wrist injury has healed fully and I have been back to full training and fitness since I started school in August.

Any new rodeo accomplishments?
This year I became a member of the TRES RIOS SILVER Rodeo Team and new sponsor, which was a pretty big deal. Also. I am now ranked sixth in Saddle Bronc Riding in the Grand Canyon Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. I am moving around with new horses in the Tie Down Roping come the new year and will be making a impact here soon enough.

What are your future plans?
During the summer I will head to some novice pro tour rodeos back in Canada but for sure I will finish up my two years here in Arizona rodeoing for Cochise College. While I’m in Arizona, I’ll be obtaining my Business Administration degree and then be setting my sights on going pro full time.

What do you think the future of rodeo is?
The future of rodeo is here, I think it’s inevitable that Canadians will be making international impact at every level from the amateur, high school, collegiate, and professional in the next five years.

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