story by Laura Martin When Jim Persinger discovered the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association in 2012, feeling like he could still compete at the age […]
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Meet the Member Jasen Olsen
story by Amber Neate/Sun Reporter
& Siri Stevens
Professional bareback bronc rider Jasen Olsen loves being a cowboy. Olsen’s remarkable drive and endurance for bronc riding goes far beyond what is imaginable. Two days before competing at the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association Rodeo (NSPRA) in Wickenburg, he competed in Gilbert with a broken leg and placed first in the bronc riding. On Feb. 13 at Everett Bowman Arena in Wickenburg, he competed again with a broken leg and had an eight-second bronc ride that earned him 68 points, giving him a lead in the world standings.
Olsen didn’t break his leg riding broncs however; he was teaching his 10-year old son how to skateboard down a half-pipe ramp. “I went down, snapped it clear in half,” Olsen said. “I live in the middle of nowhere, so I had to put it back together and drive three hours to the hospital.”
Despite his injury, Olsen persisted through competition using the strength of one leg. Two of his friends traveled from out of state to lift him on to the horse so he would be able to ride. “It’s just what we do,” Olsen said. “I think it’s normal.”
For 35 years, Olsen has been competing in rodeos. He has ridden thousands of broncs all over the country. Olsen grew up in South Jordan, Utah, and recalls admiring his cousin (Frank Powell) who rode broncs. “I thought it was so cool,” Olsen said. “It was speaking to me and I knew I wanted to be a cowboy.” At age 14 Olsen was riding broncs. “I’ve always done it,” Olsen said. “This is what makes me want to live. I can’t explain what it’s like to get on one of the best horses in the world. They jump out and they’re giving everything they’ve got and you’re giving everything you’ve got. The adrenaline is just running through you and it’s awesome.” His passion earned him the Utah High School State championship in 1989. He went on to Nationals and was fifth in the nation.
One of Olson’s favorite things about rodeo is that it brings communities together. He thrives off of crowd feedback and the thrill on children’s faces. In 2019, Olsen won the World Title (NSPRA & PSRA). “I’ve wanted to win the World my whole life and it took me 34 years,” Olsen said. Olsen’s passion for bronc riding is compelling and immeasurable. He exemplifies the spirit of rodeo through grit and endurance. Nothing can stop him from riding. Not even a broken leg.
Olson has made his living in excavating. “I’ve worked for my parents. In 1994, he was winning the world in the PRCA and his dad had to have a lung transplant. He passed away less than a month later and Olson put his rodeo career on hold to take over the family business. He started back with the National Senior Pro in 2019, “I didn’t start the senior pro until I was 49.” Prior to that, he competed in the Rocky Mountain Pro Rodeo Association.
“The NSPRA is a great group of people that cheer for each other. Of course I want to win, but I want everyone to do good,” concluded Jasen.