Jim Ochs Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge
Jim Ochs with his horse. (Photo supplied by Jim Ochs)

Competing with his horse in extreme cowboy races has kept 80-year-old Jim Ochs young.

The Kansas cowboy raced against the best of the best through the gruelling obstacles of the Cowboy Up Challenge at the Calgary Stampede this week.

“It’s kept me healthy and young – for my age,” said Ochs on Wednesday.

Ochs and his wife, Joyce, hail from Gridley, Kansas, a tiny town about 178 kilometres northeast of Wichita. They are among the 360 people who live there.

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Stephanie Babych is a journalist based in Calgary. She was a reporter for the Calgary Herald and Sun for four years, and is a graduate of Mount Royal University’s journalism program. During her time...