Austin is the Northwest Youth Rodeo Junior Bareback Champion for 2008!!!
We had a power outage due to lightening Sunday morning so that got things off to a rocky start but we made it in time to Philomath. Austin's first event of the day was calf tying and while he has been discouraged by his size in this event, he went out and made the best of it. He was still over time but he is getting faster at putting the calf down. Austin will be practicing on our goats in the off season. This is one of the events when size can make a difference.
Originally, Austin drew John Wayne again for his bareback event but after what happened at Polk County, they decided to give him the bay horse he rode for a 76 at Clark County. Again, Austin rode this horse and made it look easy riding for a score of 71 and guarenteeing that he would win the NYRA finals buckle. Again, he held on waiting for the pick-up men but got tired and just let go. Per the stock contractor, we were told that if John Wayne was a couple of inches taller he would be a professional rodeo horse and going to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. He is that wiley!! We are very proud that Austin covered him this year (at Spirit Mountain 1 he rode John Wayne for a score of 59) and that he continued to get on him week after week.
Next up was chute dogging. This is another event where size can be an advantage...but perseverance helps too. Austin held on and dug in and went with his steer for over half the arena but just couldn't get him totally stopped. Lots of good effort though and he is looking forward to working on this event next year.
Austin did fine in both pole bending and barrel racing. Chazz did not break formation and had nice clean runs. Time continues to be an issue. I think though that we may have addressed that problem...more to come later in this post.
Finally, Austin had his bull ride. The bull he drew is known for being nasty in the chute and in Polk County Austin was able to get another bull as this one would not settle down even enough for him to get on. Austin got in the chute twice but after having his leg severly pinched turned down his ride. This is very unlike Austin and I believe him when he said that he did not feel okay about this ride. When they turned the bull out it went just ballistic. After the rodeo, the judge told Austin that he made a good choice. That helped.
Overall, it was a great weekend. After the rodeo on Sunday, we hung around for Austin to receive his check and his award buckle. This is the 2nd time he has won bareback at the Shriner's rodeo/NYRA final rodeo. Once as a Pee Wee and now as a Junior. I have no doubt in my mind that he would have won last year as well if he had been able to ride (his collar bone was not yet healed). Austin is looking forward to a short break and playing soccer but will be back at it again soon practicing and gearing up for the 2009 season. Next year he will be old enough to participate with the Oregon Wrangler's Division...the junior high version of Oregon High School Rodeo so look for more information about that.Also, Austin has a new rodeo horse! After some serious scouting for the just the right horse at just the right price...we found a beautiful quarter pony that Austin has named Cooper's Legend or Cooper (named after his favorite PBR bull). He is young and green and built like a tank (only 3 years old) so he will be spending the soccer season with a trainer. The lady who owned him bought him as a yearling for barrel racing and team roping in indoor arenas but before she could get him completely broke, she found out she was expecting. His groundwork is exceptional and he has been saddled for over a year with a few rides on him but still needs a good 30 days with a professional trainer and he needs patterning. Austin will be spending a lot of time this winter and spring riding him both outdoors and at the J Bar L Ranch's indoor arena getting some miles on him and working the pattern. He won't start roping training until spring and will hopefully participate in some breakaway roping next year.
Well, we are getting sponsor packages ready to give to all of those who have made this rodeo season possible: J Bar L Ranch, Orient Electric, Gallagher Electric, Gresham Electric, Sunbelt Rentals and Mr. Billy Laird of Texas. Keep watching for updates...the NYRA banquet is coming in October, as of Saturday Austin was the point leader for Junior Bareback at the WVJRA and there are practices with the OJBRA and a bareback camp with Bobby Mote so there will be lots to talk about...not to mention our yearlings in training and Austin's new horse!
Thank you everyone for your support!!