Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Golf and Rodeo

My buddy's in-laws have quite the hospitality house.  It is complete with 4 holes of golf, an indoor pool, ping table, a huge property with trails, and a sizable pond too.  A few weeks ago I asked if we could have a few hours out there to enjoy said things.  It didn't seem to be a problem, so we loaded up kids, siblings, cousins, friends and parents for a great afternoon outdoors.

Upon arrival most of the kids bee-lined it straight to the indoor pool.  They would be under the watchful eye of my sister and Leanne whilst the rest of us hit the links.  There were about 7 of us golfing, and another 2 or 3 using frolfing with Frisbees.  There aren't any t-boxes, so one just shoots from wherever they get an inclination.  The four greens are more then suitable.  Everything looks regulation like for the most part.  So we just hit from this place and that place into the direction which seemed the best.  If the shoot wasn't so good, well, I just hit another ball in my pocket.  No scores.  No real etiquette.  No pressure.  It was a super terrific afternoon.

The pond was the next stop.  It is a gravel pit being drenched.  There is a dock to let go off of into the water and climb back up on.  It is an enormous thumb print which would be as big as 10 football fields perhaps.  The golf course was about that big too.  The water was not only crystal clear, but it was warm, clean and refreshing.  Shelly and Wally weren't able to enjoy the afternoon, but they'll get out on another occasion.
A couple days thereafter Shelly, Molly, Wally and I hit up some pro/semi-pro rodeo in the swinging hamlet of Dungannon.  There was about  1100 people there watching all there is to watch.  I have to say that it was really, really good - just a few notches off excellent.  Its organization was highly professional in that the announcer was terrific, the pace of the events were quick, it looked professional, and the talent of everyone involved seemed very good.

What else made it good was that they always had something going on in the lag time between events.  At a sporting event there is always something happening on the jumbo tron between play, but at a rodeo you don't have that form of technology.  But they did have this entertaining clown.  He did some lasso tricks and was highly animated.  Kids were involved in different things like the mutton ride, and 60 kids exploded into the ring to take flags off the tails of calves to win a prize.

The rodeo started a bit cheesy with quite the religious prayer and a display of Canadian nationalism that is nice, but not very common in Canada.  However after that, it was straight to the bull riding.  We came for the carnage and wipe outs.

There was an equal amount of events for men and women.  Lots of beasts were ridden and roped throughout the 2 hours.  There were a number of barrel race runs in the 15 second area - which I assume is good.  There was a ninth girl whom just graduated 8th grade from the school I work at who was in it and her and her pony made it around the barrels in mid 17 seconds.  I was very impressed as her horse was much smaller then the rest, and she wouldn't be any older then 14.  So good on her and her horse.

And of course there were a number of missed roped steers, barrels knocked over, and ejected riders from the backs of bulls during the session.  However I suppose that is the way it goes.  I gathered that these people are doing it for the love of the sport and the tradition of rodeo.  The weather cooperated and I would go back again if it was happening next year.  I'd tell the riders though to not do as much looking at your phone and riding your horse....  Saw a lot of that.  Or maybe not a lot per-sea, but shouldn't you see none.  

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