Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sawtooth Rangers' Days of the Old West Rodeo 2012. Hailey, ID

Happy 4th of July and a MERRY COWBOY CHRISTMAS!  What an amazing 4th of July rodeo run!  Just wanted to take the chance to give thanks for all the amazingness taken in this week!

For about the last 5 years, I have had the opportunity to spend my 4th of July at a rodeo arena nestled right up against the mountains in Hailey, Idaho.  During this time, not only have we started some wonderful rodeo traditions but also made some amazing friends along the way.

Days of the Old West Rodeo 2012 ~Hailey, Idaho
Photo doesn't do it justice but give you a tiny tiny glimpse of the beauty surrounding us
and the amazing Hailey crowd!
I wanted to share a few of my favorite traditions, tell a few "re-ride stories" and rodeo highlights, and GIVE THANKS!

Airport Inn:  Thank you so much to the Airport Inn hotel!  Close to the rodeo grounds, clean, comfortable rooms, breakfast served to your room, and a staff that makes you feel right at home.  Thank You to all the hard working Airport Inn employees that make are stay great. 
Antique Sales: Every year during the rodeo there are usually a couple of fabulous Antique Sales to take in during the day.  Always fun to see all the sights and hunt for treasures.  This year our dates were staggered a little differently but I still got to take in one.  Thank You to Wade and Nancy for a fun shopping extravaganza. Thank You to all the vendors who loaded up with antiques, trunks, and treasures to set up. 
Snow Bunny: The Snow Bunny is a one of a kind fast food shop right next to the rodeo grounds.  A Snow Bunny Milk Shake is always a life saver on the hot July days.  Thank You to all the Snow Bunny staff that works through the 4th to keep us fed.
4th of July Parade:  On the 4th of July, the main street of Hailey, Idaho is transformed into an asphalt run way for one of the the finest parades you'll see anywhere.   A sea of local business floats, 4-H groups, Bands, and Teams of Horses trail by keeping your eyes constantly looking for the next surprise of the parade route.  Thank You so much to everyone who puts time into participating and organizing such a wonderful 4th of July parade for us all the enjoy!
Sawtooth Rangers' Days of the Old West Rodeo:  Every year on the 2, 3, and 4th of July, the Rodeo Trail brings me to Hailey, Idaho for my very favorite tradition, RODEO!!!!  3 days of fun, friends, family, rodeo, and bucking horses!  THANK YOU so much to the Sawtooth Rangers for inviting us to rodeo with them!  Thank You to each and every volunteer who works so hard, year round, to make the rodeo possible.  Thank You to King Cattle Co., Jason Kelly family, Rodeo Officials, Ryan and Luke, Wade and Nancy, Bull fighters Tyson and Randall, Pickup Men Richard and Dirk, and EVERYONE who works tirelessly to put on a great rodeo production!  Last but certainly not least, THANK YOU to the AMAZING RODEO FANS who pack the stands every night and bring energy and life to every performance!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Rodeo Re-Ride Stories and Highlights:

All 3 Days of the Old West Rodeo were fabulous!  Packed house and awesome rodeo animal athletes and contestants.  However, I do have to say that we saved the best for last!  The stands were overflowing with excited rodeo fans and by the end of the rodeo the excitement had built into an amazing energy!

Since I attend a few rodeos through out the year, sometimes the oddities tend to strike my fancy.  (Yes, that's my way of saying I have a warped sense of humor)  For example, I love to see things I've never seen before. 
  • Like the hometown bullrider who actually got bucked off in the chute.  The bull turned out backwards and he fell off coming around the corner.  He actually hit the ground on the inside of the chute, before the bull had crossed the plane to start the 8 second ride.  It was awesome!  
  • The Stock Saddle Bronc Riders stole the show.  A pen of young wild broncs matched up with young and even wilder cowboys! 
    Great rides from Cole Estill on a big bucking sorrell bucking straight down the pen.  Cole got his spur licks in and even managed to fan the horse with his hat and wave to the crowd.  Hometown cowboy, Jaron Downs, held his own in the wolf pack making a nice ride on a big grey that jumped and kicked circling around to the right. 
  • Almost as good as the great rides were the grand buck offs.  Sticky Stock Saddle Bronc rider, Wyatt Duncan, came out of chute number 3 on a big black horse who jumped and kicked circling to the Right.  The young strong black colt through out all his moves.  Wyatt was bucked off it appeared but the ride was far from over.  He got bucked to one side, standing in ONE stirrup!  Soon the roller coaster ride had thrown him to the neck for what seemed to be an eternity!  In 8 seconds the crowd got an entire episode of excitement.  Little did they know that the stock saddle boys were just getting warmed up!
  • JD Brock comes out on a tall Sorrel that I don't think could be rode by super man!  He jumped and kicked almost touching the stars when he extended his back feet.  As the cowboy hit the earth, he kept a hold of the bronc rein for a aleast two jumps he stood rein in hand!  The horse with the 1st bump of the rein hesitated but that only lasted a second.  We stood watching in disbelief!  What was he going to do with the rein in his hand!  Finally the renegade bronc was released from his hold and made his lap to the pickup men victorious.  (It is rumored that the thought crossed this daring bronc riders mind to attempt to jump back on....they're all crazy I tell ya :) 
  • Pook Hoots came out on bucking white horse out of chute number 5.  Making it look so easy he didn't need any help...the bronc rider PITCHED HIS REIN and rode without it for atleast 4 jumps.  In the end, the bold white horse would win but the rein-less ride will not soon be forgotten.
  • Great crowd, talented contestants, amazing facility, but all the cheering from the crowd and glimmer off the metal grandstands is drowned out by the beauty of the good old bucking horse mares entering the arena!  It is a thing of beauty that words just don't do justice.  Horses that have been there since the beginning and are still the heart and soul of the company like Blue Who, Bitter Brit, Table Dancer,Witch Blade, and Pretty Star.  Not only are the still stars in the arena but bucking horse mommas raising up future rodeo stars.  They make my heart happy and I feel lucky anytime I get the privilege of being in the same arena with them. 
What a wonderful way to spend the 4th of July!  Surrounded by fans, friends, family and Americans in celebration of  Life, Liberty, and Freedom!   Thank You again to the Sawtooth Rangers! 
Thank YOU for traveling the gypsy trail with me today. Hope you had a Happy 4th and a Merry Cowboy Christmas! ~ Mindy

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