Friday, January 13, 2006

Cowboy Camaraderie

Watching the news this morning before heading off to work, a story about a pair of hockey players getting into a fight after both had been placed in the penalty box ran. I had to grin at the differences that appear between this pair of men, and what you will find at a rodeo or bull riding event. Two years ago my folks, siblings and I went to a local charity rodeo. While we were there, an older man hung up on the bucking horse he was riding. More than a dozen other cowboys piled out over the top of the chute gates to go and grab the horse, heedless of the injuries that they risked suffering themselves.

Similarly, last season (2005), saw one of the worst wrecks in PBR history, one that also left the cowboy involved a truly lucky man. At the
Worcester, MA rodeo, rider Ross Johnson caught one of his spurs in the bull he was riding's flank strap. As the bull twisted, turned, and lunged through the air, he became more and more thoroughly trapped. The bull riders of the PBR trust the fighters who wait in the arena ready to keep them out of trouble and to help them avoid serious injury or death. However, many of Johnson's friends realized that there was no way that three men could stop a totally pissed off bull. Several riders boiled out over the top of the chutes and down into the arena, intent on saving their friend from injury. One cowboy, Ross Coleman, even had the presence of mind to grab another man's knife on the chance he could cut the strap off. Eventually, Johnson was freed but not before the bull got a few kicks and near stomps in. Johnson even managed to escape without serious injury. Oddly enough, Johnson had suffered through a similar wreck the year before. Hope he manages to stay out of harms way this year.

No comments: