Ho-Lee Bulls at the OHSRA Rodeo!
Sunday, 26 February 2006 14:04

Today I'm stiff and exhausted from a full day of High School Rodeo yesterday.  2 Full High School Rodeos including the Wrangler 20X Junior Division took place inside Fletcher's Horseworld in Waterford, Ontario.

Of course, I had the privilege to commentate the show, and had a front row seat to all the action inside the pen.

2 new contestants came to compete from the Empire State of New York, USA.  They will be attempting to qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo as part of the Ontario Rodeo Team, which is cool to see.  Out of State/Province competing is seen pretty regularly in NHSRA competition.  Ontario Natives have competed on the Pennsylvania, Washington and Alberta teams, to name a few, before the Ontario High School Rodeo Association was formed.  I had the entitlement to compete on the Michigan High School Rodeo Team during my NHSRA career.  Hopefully these two contestants will qualify, and be the trail-blazers for a New York team...it happened for Ontario!

The Wrangler 20X Junior Division events were exciting to watch.  The young contenders had difficulty in Chute Dogging in the first go...considering the steers outweighed them atleast 3-1, and they were finally able to get one down in the second go.  There were qualified runs in every event, and the Junior Pole Bending winner had the fastest time compared to all of the Seniors.

In the "regular" rodeo events, a number of Freshmen surprised many people with amazing attempts and times/scores.  A few seniors flawlessly did their thing, and it was a good show to watch.

The highlight of the day for me was definitely the Bull Riding.  Rawhide Rodeo brought in a whole new pen of bulls.  I had only seen perhaps two or three of them, which I would classify as the "Sophmore" class.  One was a definite eliminator...I would hazard to guess the 2nd highest scoring bull from 2005.  Plus he's the size of a house...

At first glance, the "Freshmen" class of bulls weren't too much to look at.  They looked like regular bulls.  No real "heavy-weights" like the "Sophmores."  There was one that looked part-highlander that stood out.  Everyone loves to look at a bull that's pushing the 2,000 pound mark, huge solid horns, and a demeanour that almost frightens onlookers, but there wasn't a new "monster" among them.

Once the gate cracked on the first one, my jaw dropped.  These bulls were RANK!  Some rides were like watching Snowboarding at the Winter Olympics...except replace a toe-grab with a belly-roll.  The Bulls were doing 180's like nobody's business.  The aforementioned highlander-cross bull chunked a cowboy maybe 2 jumps outside the door, then proceeded into a spin.  And there wasn't anything "flat" about it.  He spun a dozen times around if he spun once, and kicked high outside every stride.  The Carhartt Bullfighters, Clark Gerryts and Steve Fortin (Myspace) were on fire working the bulls, and for the highlander-cross, they were in prime position at 6 and 9...crouched over.  After the 5th spin they stood perfectly erect, and after the 10th, they were fanning their arms in a "calm down, buddy" gesture (think "We're not worthy" from 'Wayne's World').  The first go-round winner had an amazing 76 point ride on a wild spinning bull, and the event winner was the sole cowboy to cover 2...an amazing feat in itself.  I can't wait to see these bulls again (check out the schedule on my profile), and have never been so impressed by a "Freshmen" pen of bulls. 

I'm off to check out a barrel race this afternoon, and hope to be back in time for all my shows tonight (Family Guy, Desperate Housewives...yeah!)

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