Monday, June 8, 2015
I've noticed with some interest an upcoming rodeo coming to the Quad City area on June 13th. Now I know almost zilch about rustlin' or ropin' or ridin'. There wasn't a lot of opportunity to hone those skills in Seaton. I recall when I was in Denver a huge gathering there in January or February and it would be televised. A lot of rodeo stuff. Really didn't interest me, and frankly, it still wouldn't send any ripples on my radar if it wasn't just a little close to home.
That cow in the video is a large beast called Mississippi Hippy. I'm sure the word cow is frowned upon in rodeo circles but that is the extent of my knowledge of such things. Technically it is a bull and its job is to dislodge whatever is on its back to the ground. Apparently it does this rather well and with some regularity.
With some further elucidation, I found out that there is a whole industry within the rodeo universe that trains cows, er, bulls, to do exactly what Mississippi Hippy did in the video above. Various owner/companies buy cows, er, bulls and work them to supply to the bull riding events across the country.
One such concern is called the Blythe Cattle Company and as I mentioned earlier about being close to home, my brother Phil is part-owner, check writer, and if he were on the actual premises, probably the scooper-outer, too. I have no idea which part of the cow Phil owns but when its bronco days are over, perhaps we can have a family cookout. Personally I've always preferred cows on my plate.
I have racked my mind trying to determine how Phil got the rodeo bug and all I can come up with was when we were kids, the Wombie and I would gang up on him and ride him for much longer than the required time. Or maybe it was that Brahma he rode at the New Windsor rodeo years ago. It is a great story told by a great storyteller.
For The Hippy, life must really be great. You are a pampered god. No ordinary Kent feed regimen for you, no, you are given about15 pounds of high protein grain every day and another 15 pounds of the highest quality hay. You ride around in air-suspension luxury with fresh wood shavings at your feet, er, hooves. You have bronco-style paparazzi following you and when you do work, you only punch the time card for 8 seconds. Ah the life of a an animal athlete.
The downside of course is getting guys like Phil to keep writing the checks, and to keep throwing those pesky humans off your back in record time. Start slowing down and you just may wind up between two slices of bread.