ain't got but one score, a 57. Second and third's still open."
But the reality,
the intimately felt experience of sporting events is diminished in proportion
to the number of people witnessing them; it is inverse, also, to the size and
splendor of the facilities. The Pinedale rodeo is a case in point. One of the
contestants in the senior girls' pole bending cannot stop her horse after their
run. He veers at the fence, jerks her loose, and while she is in the air beside
him, whacks her with his head and smashes her into the calf-chute. The cowboys
on the rail nearby turn their heads with mild interest. A bronc bucks his rider
off balance and goes for a gallop closer and closer to the rail with the cowboy
hanging out sideways and finally wipes him off against the main gate. The noise
is awful. Winfield and his cronies guffaw at a photographer who turns away with
a hand over his eyes, appalled.
Lozier is down in the dirt at the far end, a bone sticking out of his leg. He
sits up and calls for an ambulance.
The team roping
had been going on for half an hour and it was dark when Carl Luna and Danny
Mendes, with their wives, pulled their rigs around behind Darrell's. In the
Jackson rodeo last night they had roped head and heels in winning time,
stretched the steer out between the two horses—almost—and then Luna plumb
dropped his rope. Darrell said, "See? Bringing those women will jinx you.
You look at the winners. They don't bring their wives."
Kip Alexander and
his partner going eighth had set the time to beat so far—10.8 seconds. Doug
Vickery went out on a horse Winfield had brought over for him to try. Darrell
said, "Hope he does good so he'll buy him." The horse did all right but
the head cowboy threw his loop away. They could have taken another rope;
Vickery could have gone for the horns while his partner re-coiled his lariat,
but they spared everybody the delay. This was the biggest night of the year
downtown. The Stockman's, The Cowboy, The Corral were spilling live music and
customers all over the only paved street. Vickery and his partner took a
no-time. Darrell told Vickery, "Victory, you know that's a cow-watching son
of a gun, a good horse, he gives you all he's got. You keep him till you get
used to him."
And aside: "I
know I ain't going to make no money roping. I have got to make it some
Danny Mendes and
Charlie Tuna were called, and they took a 12, plus five seconds for roping only
one hind leg. Charlie Tuna and Tom Bloomfield took a no-time. Now Winfield
mounted Luna's big gray gelding. Danny missed the head this time, a thing he
does not often do. To make sure everybody knew whose fault it was, he schooled
his horse a bit. Then Tom mounted it to ride as Winfield's second partner.
At the chute, he
asked the barrier judge, "How's this steer run?"
straight," the judge said, honest like a cowboy, "but pretty
The steer broke
out and veered away to the right. Tom drove his horse after it, the lariat
whirling round his head, and let loose over in front of the announcer's stand.
He came up empty.