My goodness, it is just over a year since I last updated this blog!! Perhaps I was so upset about my labour weekend efforts on Gilbey last year I didn't want to come back.....
SO long story short, had an awful first run on Gilbey and didn't make it round the second barrel, we were both so nervous and it wasn't a good combination at all. The second day I kept him in so tightly fearing the worst that we got around but it wasn't pretty, poor old boy. Thank fully H & G suggested that perhaps it wasn't the best thing for both of us to do the Christmas circuit and a week before Christmas I got my darling Ricky back to barrel race on the Christmas circuit. He had been sold to a man but bucked him off 2 weeks later and shattered his femur, (he doesn't do well on green grass - dry meadow hay and old short non-nutritional grass is all he can cope with) so I got to go and pick him up and had a very short time to get him fit and ready for the Christmas circuit. When I went to pick him up he whinnied and trotted towards me, and a previously tricky horse to float magically turned into an angel as he practically jumped into the float and looked around at me to close the door! I was so glad to have him back and I'm pretty sure he was very happy to be back with me.
The first rodeo on boxing day was scary. I went out just to get my confidence back and have some fun, and boy oh boy the first rodeo at Millers Flat on boxing day I was so nervous!! But a girl gave me a very good piece of advice "Trust your horse" and I did just that, galloping home I couldn't get the huge grin off my face. We came in 4th that day, 3rd at Waimate the next day, 3rd at Te Anau, bombed out at Omarama (we had to pen them the night before on a field of rocket fuel dairy grass!!), changed the bit for Wanaka the next day and came in FIRST!! It was such a thrill, an amazing feeling being at one with my horse and the turns were so tight. After my race the rain started bucketing down and I just wanted to stay and celebrate, but we left for Christchurch (a cool 8 hour drive!) and I came 2nd, it was an absolute dream season. Winning isn't everything but it sure feels good! The social life of rodeos is pretty fun too :P
My partner rides bareback horses and bulls and he was having an amazing season too, placing at just about every rodeo in one or both events!! We definitly had the lucky truck that year!
After the high of the Christmas circuit we headed up to the North Island which was a great adventure. I rode a beautiful paint mare who was so kind to me and didn't make me look like a fool, although she was a bit slower than Ricky Bobby :) ...
We made the long trip up to Richmond Rodeo but Ricky didn't like the hard ground and tripped 3 times which just cost those split seconds, I was really disappointed because it was the first of the 3 rodeos you have to compete at to get the "Top of the South Buckle", where your 3 times are added up and the person with the fastest average wins. At the Southern Rodeos I came third both days, and the next weekend we had the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Waikouaiti Rodeo, where I made Ricky all pink but he didn't like it very much and tried to buck me off at the first barrel!!
Needless to say I didn't place at that rodeo!! However the next day at Outram I got 2nd and picked up a nice pay check :)
The last points rodeo of the season was Lawrence Rodeo, and I knocked the last barrel - the first time I knocked a barrel my whole (short!!) career, so I laughed about it all the way home as I was so surprised that it had happened.
My friends and I then travelled to the West Coast to the cutest rodeo at Reefton, it was a great day and although I was a little nervous about knocking another barrel, Ricky loved the deep coal dust arena and took me around to come in FIRST!! I lent him to my friend to ride for fun and she came second on him. He is such a legendary horse.
The next weekend we made the huge trip up to Tua Marina where again I came first and another girl that I let ride him came third in her first barrel race ever. This meant that with my 3 times altogether I won the coveted "Top of the South Buckle".
I had to move to Australia a week after so Ricky went to a new home :( But we had such a good season together and I hope one day I'll get him back so he can retire on my farm, spending his days lying in the sunshine or flicking away flies in the shade of apple trees.
This is my niece and I at the Waikouaiti Rodeo, he is such a honey and now she is horse mad too, just passing it on to the future generations :)