First order of business:
We need a name for the above buckskin. What should we call The Hunk who also happens to be a knock out? Suggestions?
We knew you’d help.
Second order of business:
Catching up with Bella:
As you know, Phil went home after the trial period. Hudson had nothing to do with this (If I keep repeating this statement, it might be true?), other than pointing out Phil might be a tad timid for a rope horse.
Bella has shopped for months, while practicing on the spare rope horses that belong to friends. Somehow, she STILL managed to make it into the national team roping finals. Without owning a horse, or even roping off the same horse. For us wanna-be dressage queens, that’s a feat equivalent with catch-riding a bunch of different level dressage horses, and qualifying to ride in a National-Level Grand Prix.
She found her horse two weeks before Nationals. The above buckskin with no name.
Bella is a competitor. With a capital C.
I asked Bella if there was a live feed, so I could watch the roping. She said she’d text me her competition numbers, but timing was inexact, since they run one hundred teams an hour.
Pause while Jane tries to process that statement.
“Um. How many teams ARE there?”, I ask.
“Twelve hundred or so, I think, was the last count?”, Bella replies.
Or twelve hours straight of roping. For three days.
2,400 horses and riders? Holy crap! I try to picture this. Fail. Turn the image into sprinkles on a cake. Much better. Now I can visualize the odds.
Strangely, the odds make me hungry.
Focus, Jane, FOCUS.
She’s doing this on a horse she’s known less than 10 days?
Carlos, Bella’s boyfriend and my adopted brother, texted me the above photo on the last night of competition:
Carlos: “high point entry”
I immediately texted back.
Jane: “Thanks. What does that MEAN?”
Jane: “Thanks. What does THAT mean?”
Carlos: “Good run, they could win.”
Holy crap. I really really really need to go to the gym. In this lifetime.
Jane, still not sure I understand: “Uh. So she made it into the elite group that competes to win the whole shebang? The national title?”
Man of few words.
I think about the variables involved: two horses, two people, one random ticked-off steer determined NOT to be caught, and probably around 6 seconds for the two horses, two people, two ropes, and one ticked-off steer to come together at speed.
It feels physically impossible. So much could go wrong. You aren’t relying on only yourself and your horse. Off by a fraction in timing, communication…a rogue steer…partner misses, you miss…it all happens.
Out of 1200 teams, they made it into the elite high point teams, despite a rough first day of competition: all her points were scored on day two. Day three, she’s qualified for a shot at the national title.
(They didn’t win the title, but they did rank very high in the finals!)
We are SO PROUD of you, Bella!
Bella and Carlos, at team roping practice:
Let’s hear those “I’m a bad *ss – but handsome – dude who happens to be a real softie” names…