It has been a rough January. The wintertime blues can be real and hard to get past. Of course, life situations can make the cold and snow even worse. I do see why the snowbirds head south for the sunshine and warmth. The frigid temperatures of this January have made being an animal owner, let’s say somewhat challenging. Just the simple task of supplying fresh water to the animals found us with frozen hydrants, frozen automatic waterers, wielding an ax to break the ice, carrying buckets of water, purchasing a heat gun, and the list goes on and on. We don’t currently have a death count on the fish my daughter put in the horse tank last summer, but we do know we are down one.
The National Western Stock Show in Denver has concluded, and it was a cold one for the rodeo contestants and livestock exhibitors throughout the 16-day event. However, there was good attendance in that it was in the top 10 for the 118-year history. The rodeo features a tournament style format with contestants being put into brackets. There were 19 performances that led to the finals on Sunday. The ticket holders for January 15th witnessed one of the worst bareback riding wrecks. The 19 year-old Casper College student, Austin Broderson, from Canada, was riding when his rigging slid off to the side and the cowboy ended up underneath the horse-still attached. He is listed in critical condition with a broken C-7 vertebrae, multiple hip fractures, and a broken nasal bone. Then the Westernaires Riding Drill Team based in Colorado had a couple wrecks. A loose cinch slipped, and one rider went off at the beginning of the drill then another one ran into the bucking chutes and ran over the camera man. A rookie rodeo fan may have left the Denver Coliseum a little traumatized.
Each cowboy or cowgirl competing in the rodeo was guaranteed two rounds of competition, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals, and eventually the finals of the top 12. Lamar cowgirl, Shali Lord, made four solid runs in the barrel race to place her 7th overall and $990. A new barrel racing record was set by Tessa Arnold of 14.50 seconds. Topping the field of 70 barrel racers, was a tie between the Texas girls, Halyn Lide and Hailey Kinsel for the championship. The bareback riding saw Garrett Shadbolt win it and Colorado cowboy, Keenan Hayes, end up 5th. Tyler Pearson of Oklahoma was crowned the steer wrestling champion. In the saddle bronc riding event, Brody Cress tied his own record of 91 points in the finals to win the event. Tanner Green was the tie down roping champion with a time of 7.3 seconds in the final round. The team roping event had Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord emerge the champions. The bull riding had T Parker take all their money as he was the only one to ride on Sunday and earn $16,000 at Denver. Here is my rant about the bull riding event. Rodeo fans want to see cowboys ride bulls. The bulls nowadays are so rank that the cowboys can’t ride them. The bull riders may love that challenge, but the fans want to see them ride; at least half of them, anyway.
If you have read this to find tips to get over the wintertime blues, I am not much help. Maybe go play some tunes by the Beach Boys. My encouragement to you is to remain steadfast, stand strong, spring will eventually come. If you are an animal owner, be thankful that it has gotten above freezing, as of late.