Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rodeo Fun

I've always loved rodeos.  But that's probably a given for a little girl growing up on Westerns and cowboys in her formative years.  I wanted to be a cowboy (note...not a cowgirl) but ended up marrying an Indian instead.  I guess I figured that way I could always play cowboys and Indians.  But....I digress.

During my first marriage to my Indian husband I became a member of the Koochiching Tribe and lived for a while on a reservation.  This brings up too many memories and stories to begin to recount at this time or the blog would become a book.

Anyway, while married and living on the Canadian border I had the pleasure of owning two horses, Pete and Ginger.  We didn't have central heat or running water, but we had two horses, two dogs and two cats.  Pete came to me already trained and I used him to barrel race until I was far enough along in my pregnancy that I posed a bigger threat to knocking over the barrels than he did.  Ginger was only rough broke and I had the honor of training her to use leg commands in the true Native American style. 

To refer to my lifestyle as being "Indian" is in no means a belittling term.  This is what they called themselves in the early 70's and many prefer this to the white man's term of "Native American".  This was in the same vein as being called Chippewa by the whites, but we refered to ourselves as Ojibwa.  My son's first language was in Ojibwa to make up for the fact his father was never allowed to learn his own tongue in the Indian Boarding schools.  But again...I digress.

After the marriage headed south, so did I.  I lived with my cousin and her two children for a while and let's just say Bonnie's passion for horses may have exceeded even my own.  She lived in Spooner Wisconsin where they have a large rodeo every year and I often went with her to each performance and then we'd chase men in tight jeans and cowboy hats at the bars afterwards.  Oh the fun and memories.  Now they would refer to me as "ma'am" as I'm too old to chase them.  Moreover, if I caught one I don't remember what to do with them any more.

The rodeos were larger than life for me, these men were heros in my eyes.  In hindsight I see I've always been attracted to insane men, but at the time they exlemplified the Marlboro Man and were gorgeous.  Who else would get on a bucking bull with their fractured ribs taped up so they could compete.  Dislocated shoulder from the last bull ride?  No problem...just get someone to pop it back in for you so you can compete again tomorrow.  Ever wonder sometimes why their boots don't quite match?  That would be a sprained or broken ankle that has swollen too much to fit.  Crazy men...crazy times....crazy memories.

But I never thought I'd ever see a woman bullrider.  All we were ever allowed to do were the barrel racing and trick riding.  Little did I know that barrier had been crossed and that I would get to see a woman riding a bull at the rodeo with my family and grandkids watching. 

Her name is Maggie Parker.  She's a 19 year old from Shaftsburg Michigan and became the first woman in PRCA history to earn a check in bull riding competition on June 2, 2012 at the Bennington PRCA rodeo.  She now shares history with another woman (a saddle bronc rider) as the only female contestants to place in any roughstock event.

I've attached a You Tube clip here to show the June 2nd ride that made history.  I am so proud of this young woman and grateful that my granddaughters could see this woman ride.  She didn't manage to stay on long enough that night to place at the Hamel Rodeo, but then nobody did.

I think they just sums up how well women have adapted to handling bull in their life.

Ignore the following thing - it wouldn't load properly and I can't seem to get it deleted.

Long Live the Queen of the Rodeo

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmmm, where have all those "old now" marlborough men gone? I haven't seen much around here worth chasing with or without the cowboy boots. lol. These children are so adorable. Hugs, Edna B.