by Cody Wayne
a bullrider at the Pecos Rodeo
| The old Ford truck left the rodeo grounds a little after midnight. Steve had rode hard but he had drawn a rank bull by the name of Bruiser who had thrown him off. It happened more often than not that he got a no score, but his drive and determination to win kept him coming back. He was headed on down the Interstate to the next challenge, the Pecos Rodeo. He had already payed his entry fee so even though he was sore and heartbroken he knew he would have to climb back on one of those beasts and hope he could last for eight seconds.
He arrived early the next morning hoping to avoid the crowds, a young boy in a cowboy hat noticed him and ran to him hoping to shake his hand and maybe get an autograph, Steve obliged and smiled at the boys mom. He tipped his hat to her.
"Howdy Ma'am" He said, as he hurried inside to register for the nights event.
He rested for a bit behind the chutes, swapping stories with a few of the other riders.
"Man you took a hard fall up in Tulsa!," Slim exclaimed
"Yeah, ol' Bruiser is a rank animal, din't hurt much more than my pride," Steve lied.
He had reinjured his already bad knee and had sprained his shoulder. He knew the sport of Rodeo was becoming a young man's game, and he wasn't sure how much longer his body would hold up to the daily bumps and bruises. Not to mention the occasional concussion and broken bones.
The Judge came down from the announcer stand and gave the riders the news of the bulls they had drawn and the order of tonight's event. Steve had drawn a big Brahman bull named Outlaw. The big black mammoth weighed just short of a ton and more than enough to crush a cowboy. Steve had seen Outlaw in action at a rodeo up in Amarillo last fall.
"Outlaw dang near Killed ol' Tex Houston" Steve remembered.
He hoped he would have better luck tonight. He could use the prize money, and the fame and glory that came after a win was why he kept getting back in the chute. Steve loved the sport of Rodeo and the lifestyle of being a cowboy.
That night the crowd cheered he was the third rider of the night, the first two hadn't lasted the eight seconds it took to be a winner. The crowd was loud and the big arena lights were bright, but once Steve climbed over the fence and into chute number three with that huge beeve, he didn't hear or see a thing, except his own heart beat.
The gate opened and the giant bull leapt into the air like a dolphin flying out of the ocean. He thumped back down on the sandy soil and spun his head and enormous body to the left in a tight circle. Steve kicked his legs and dug his spurs into the big creature's neck. He gripped his rope a little tighter with his right hand while circling his left arm in the air to help maintain his balance. Just as soon as the bull kicked left it planted it's hooves into the dirt and flung it's hind end high into the air. Steve could feel his stomach rise into his throat. He gasped for air. Then the bull donkey kicked and circled to the right as fast as a bolt of lightning. The massive animal took another big hop and Steve arched his body backwards and grabbed another bite of flesh with his spurs.
The crowd stood and cheered as the buzzer alarmed signaling the end of the eight second ride. Steve had stayed on top. Steve was still a winner.