Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Half the Fun is Getting There - Monatana Circuit Finals 2012

During the NFR some friends had talked about meeting up at the Montana Circuit Finals but I was beginning to weaken on the idea. A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a dear friend, Olie Else. This phone call was heaven sent. Olie is the rodeo coach at the University of Montana- Western. I had met Olie on the rodeo trail back in grade school but when I attended school in Dillon is when Olie and I became friends. Olie is not only a rodeo coach, she is a “school Mom” to over 90 kids a year. She takes you in and makes you feel like a part of the Western Rodeo family! She leads by example and gives you the skills to Do Great Things! Needless to say, I took this invite and ran with it!

LUCKY Friday rhe 13th ~
It had been a long time since Olie and I ran road tripped.
We picked right up where we left off…and in true Idaho girl tradition…we got on the road about an hour later than we had planned. I left the house in good time but was about 25 minutes away from home when I realized that I had left my purse! (lol….if my head wasn’t attached) A minor detour…and I was MONTANA bound again!

Later it would appear that our morning delays had also been heaven sent. As we dropped down into the Twin Bridges valley, off to the left hand side of the road, a man opened a gate on a corral FILLED with big black cows. The second the gate open the cows moved out at a high lope! Even if we had been seconds earlier in our departure…we would’ve been smack dab in the middle of a herd of cows at 70 miles an hour. From that point on, we soaked up every beautiful blessing that had been prepared for us on the road!

Destination: Great Falls, Montana for the 2012 Montana Circuit Finals!!
rom the moment we stepped out of the car, Olie was meeting and greeting friends, family, and loved ones! What an amazing example! Even in the 10 minutes it took us to check in to the hotel I learned so much from that amazing woman! She holds her head high and greets EVERYONE she sees with a big smile, warm hello, and some even a hug. What a way to take on life!

I knew we were in for a good weekend when I walked into the warm up arena and greeted the Holland family, and Patty said ...Ya, I knew you were coming up. I heard Olie on the radio say you two were road tripping. :) ...lol...on the radio :) Good ol' Rodeo Roundup
Thank You for an amazing Fun Filled weekend filled with Friends & Rodeo Family!

It had been over 7 years since I had attended the Montana Circuit Finals and I was seriously...GIDDY with excitement to see some strong Northern Horses
and they didn't disappoint! Instant Request in the bronc riding made my heart go pitter patter! Alley Cone was quite the treat also!

...but that's another story :)
Link to: Montana Circuit Finals 2012 - Beautiful Bucking Horse Weekend

Friday's after rodeo festivities took us to the Best Western Heritage Inn.
Watch out Montana, the Hoggan Girls are in town!

It is always an adventure with Olie Belles and the her agenda had us volunteering to be back at the Four Seasons Arena at 7 am Saturday morning for the 1st Annual Montana Bucking & Bull Sale. Aside from the fact that "Getting up before 11 makes for a long day" (Jay Hoggan quote)

The bucking horse sale was a delightful morning spent with friends. Tiffany even braved the early morning assignment and volunteered her time.
Pictured above is a handsome young mans Banana that I Held Hostage...at the gate to ensure his return to pay the price of admission :) ....if you can't tell....we had a LOT of fun that morning!

Great friends and bucking horse were pretty much the theme of the weekend!
Pictured above is my Larry Jordan, Jay Hoggan, and Alvin High

Every time I my Dad sees Larry...he tells me how cool Larry Jordan is and that he went to his bronc riding school back in the day. Well, this weekend, I heard the rest of the story...Lynn Smith (the judge) and a bunch of guys from down here had went to the bronc school. Lynn remembered some Larry saying about Dad "I think that guy has Polio in his legs" lol.... I guess you couldn't buck him off but his legs would just vapor lock. (This story pretty much made my day. I later asked Dad about it. He remarked that he was younger and always wanted to run with the big boys. They kept saying That's Max Hoggan's Nephew. and they ran everything at me.)

Montana Bucking Horse Sale ~
Congratulations to John Duffy, high selling horse of the sale, horse sired by a David Hoggan stud on a Duffy mare. Kudos to Gene King, in my opinion, had the nicest bareback out. There was also a cute lil blue horse that I really liked. Gene sold some sold campaigners rodeo horses. I was proud of them all. Great crowd and ran smooth for the sales 1st year. Best wishes to the Circuit on continued success!

Saturday night is LEGENDARY! You can feel the excitement in the air! As we approach the arena, you can see the silohette of a cowboy walking in front of us and hear the music of spur rowels on pavement in the cold crisp Montana air. Just inside the warm up arena, the air is cozy, and the smell of horses warms the air. The broncs are an Eliminator pen of sorts & the horses DREAMS are made of!!! Bonus Alley <3 <3 <3
The horses were fun & the FRIENDS were even better!

Matt & Traci came down from Canada! Love them!
Western Rodeo friends and I don't get to see them nearly enough!

Brandon & Tiffany, Will & Angie, Jake & Holly, Marshalls, Downings, Dellen's, Jackie Jensen, Wade Sankey, Hollands, James, Tyrell, Chase, Tucker, Cortani, Wagners, Tiffany.....I could keep going for days! Just a few of the amazing people that made the weekend wonderful!
So so much fun! ...It was like the good ol' college rodeo days :) Holly, Jake & I even woke Olie up for a visit at 2 in the morning.

College Roommates ~ Tiffany, Angie , & That Girl
That Girl, Angie, Tiffany, & baby Jetta! Love these girls!

Some of my favorite quotes from the weekend:
  • 2 different friends found the love of their life at this years Miles City Bucking Horse Sale. Single girl say something to the effect that I need to sort better! Brad Marshall replies, "You need to sort less"
  • Match Maker ~ Guy friend tries to set me up with a friend. lol...aside from being pretty akward...not effective. Later I report in...He didn't love me :) Friend replies, Just because he doesn't know who you are. (Which in itself made me giggle) However, later I would learn...he asked friend about me the next day...Asked if I was Friend's Wife? ....lol...I told said Friend to not hang out his match making single just yet :)
  • Young Bronc Rider, "Those bigger saddles, you almost have to spur to stay on"

What a great way to spend a weekend!
Congratulations to all of the Montana Circuit Finals contestants,
especailly all the WESTERN kids :)
Congratulations to Chase Erickson, Western Alumni & the reigning BAREBACK CHAMPION! Also a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Jake Costello,
SADDLE BRONC CHAMPION, and Western Alumni!

Never a dull moment, a trip home in the snow. I stayed in Dillon and in the morning a new adventure was at hand. The babies were out with the bred cows ...and a bull. so Olie & I headed out to sort. She has a college educated herd of horses that have became quite proficient in "gate opening"
While sorting, I had the opportunity to meet Olie's fattened beef....I don't even know how to describe him besides...HUGE!!!! He stands taller than most of the rope horses out in the pasture. Never a dull moment! :) Thank you so much for a great weekend Olie Belles! You are the best!

Oh yes, and on the way home...I just happened to have such great timing that I was able to block a hole on the on ramp so Dad could move some horses across the interstate :)
Thank you, Thank You, Thank You for traveling the gypsy trail with me today!
See you soon, at the very latest...next year at the Montana Circuit Finals
~ Mindy
p.s....more bucking on the Montana Circuit Finals and the Beautiful Bucking Horse Weekend click here http://rodeotalesgypsytrails.blogspot.com/2012/01/montana-circuit-finals-2012-beautiful.html
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