The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let's Rodeo!

It is that time of year again. I wait all year long for the National Finals Rodeo to be televised from Las Vegas, and since it always takes place around my birthday, I feel like it's my real present. For 10 nights in a row I can watch the top 15 rodeo cowboys in the world go head to head in a world class competition on tough, fit livestock that is hand-picked for this event. All year long I listen to people talk about football, basketball, The Ryder Cup, college sports, but this is my time.

December 6th was the midway point, and there are 5 performances left. I have watched every minute of it that I possibly could and have already been rewarded by unbelievable feats. Hazers in the steer dogging absolutely making a winning run possible, as well as a bunch of money for themselves and the cowboy they haze for in the process. In the bull dogging, you will only see the  hazing horse's bottom half until the bull doggers gets down, and then not at all, but it's where the magic happens. Watch it, and watch the left side of your screen to see how much a hazer has to do with a run.

Every night in the bull riding you can see bull fighters, aka clowns, saving bull rider after bull rider by hurling themselves squarely in harms way. Consummate atheletes, they almost always walk away from what looks like pure suicide. I am not a big fan of Barrel Racing, but I admire the athleticism of the horses. It often looks to me that not all, but some, of the riders are hindering more than helping their mounts. The rough stock events are all very exciting, but again, in the Saddle bronc, and Bareback events, I'm watching the horses buck more than the cowboys cover. I read that a legendary rodeo stud called Night Jacket has 16 progeny in the bucking string at this year's finals. Sold for a record $200,000, the stallion is an integral part of ProRodeo's thriving Born-to-Buck program.

Another famous stud, a human one, former multiple calf-roping champion Roy Cooper has 3 sons qualified and competing at this year's finals. They say that when Roy began taking everybody's money in the calf roping, that he changed everything about the sport. With 3 sons among the top 15 calf-ropers in the world, he's apparently going right on changing things even past retirement. Calf-roping and the other timed events are where my real interest lies. And, of course, because I team rope, that is usually where I pay closest attention. As always, though, it's the animals, the horses, that capture my imagination. These horses are the best there is, at the top of their game, tuned up and readied just for these 10 days, then paired by the very best in the business at the time. Really...does it get any better than that?

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