Real Western > Rodeo > Japanese Rodeo Cowboys > Jin'ichiro Shibahara

Chasing The Dream

Written by Jin'ichiro Shibahara

SEP 15, 2006 - from Utah, vol.1

It has been 10 month to get back on the road. Since I've been back in Utah, I wasn't just waiting to get back. First of all, I had to get a vehicle to drive. Fortunately, my friend Louie gave me a nice old Honda. It is 1990 Prelude. It needed some work, registration and car insurance. It took almost 3 weeks to fix everything, now I can go.

I went to Cody, Wyoming, first. There is Cody Nite Rodeo through all summer long. I wanted get on practice bulls before hitting pro circuit. Cody Nite Rodeo produced by Mo Betta Rodeo Company from Oklahoma and run 90 days in June, July and August. 90 days, 90 rodeos. It's just $25 for entry fee and they added $100 everyday. You can't win big money, but you can ride everyday. That's what I wanted. First day in Cody. I was nervous, honestly. 10 month, I didn't get on bulls. However, I did work out to make a body to be good for bullriding with my personal trainer in Tokyo for last couple of months. And I found so many things I wanted to try on this first bull. Now it's the time. To do "dynamic stretching", I prepared like I used to do. My routine has never changed. During girls barrel racing, bulls were driven to bucking chutes. My bull was "1". He was in right hand side delivery. I wore chaps and vest, stood behind the chute and started to focus. Bullriding was going on. Putting my mouth guard to in my mouth, I wore helmet. My turn. Heating up my rope and rosin, already sweat run my cheek. I took deep breath and shifted my body to forward and nodded.

The gate was opened, he jumped out and gave me some kicks, but didn't change direction at all. No trick. I just kept to stay square and digged my spurs in . The buzzer came out, I dismounted. I twisted my left knee little bit, but wasn't big deal. Judges gave me 68 points. It wasn't too bad at all for first bull since last October, besides I got a paycheck with it. Nothing but smile on my face that night, I was a happy boy.

I spent a week in Cody, got on 6 bulls in a row and covered 3 of them. I started to collect money somehow. Next 2 weeks, I've been to 4 PRCA rodeos and a PCBRA bullriding. I bucked off all. Good things were I had chances to get on bulls in PBR Built Ford Tough Series. I felt so good to be on these 2 bulls, but also they made me recognize where I am now. So, I went to back in Cody. Cody Nite Rodeo has also the Finals on last 3 days in August. They counted points toward to the Finals, so I thought I should try to make the Finals.

On Saturday, August 26th, I still had 3 more chances to make points before the Finals. I drew a pretty good size red bull from left side hand delivery. He jumped out twice and turn left, kept jump and kickin', it looks like he made a big circle. After I heard buzzer, me and him were almost in front of the chute where we started the trip. I hang up and he drag me out. I got stepped on my left pelvis, right hip and left spur. Bullfighters saved me, but I couldn't stand up by myself. Paramedics came to help me out. I was screaming at the paramedic room. That hurt so bad. We called ambulance.

At West Park Hospital in the town, I took X-ray and was told broken pelvis. It was like a 2-3 inches long piece came off from pelvis itself. There was a half inch gap between them. They said I needed surgery. 2 days later, I had it and spent almost 4 nights in the hospital. Bunch of my friends came to visit my room, I had some calls from my friends and someone I didn't expected. Here's a funny story. I shared a flat with 2 Australians, Pete and Lou, and one bullrider from Georgia, Matt, and one bronco rider from Wyoming, Grant, during a week. One time they visited my room and said "Let us know anything you want", so I asked them "Bring me an underwear. I haven't changed since then. They said "O.K. We'll bring it to you". Next day, They came back and tossed me an Albertson's plastic bag, said "Here's your underwear". I opened it up and picked it out. Guess what? That was a white female thong... g-string. I laughed at so loud. Everyone did, too. That was so funny. 'Cause I honestly disappointed to what happened to me and also was told by doctor it will take 8-10 weeks to heal it up, which means my season was almost over. One thing made me little bit happier and I was so glad to be with these guys and would like to thank them all. I couldn't make the Finals, but finished 16th in its year-end standing. On Labor Day, my host family, Mr. and Mrs. Jones brought me back to Utah.

I also would like to thank all of people who I've met in Cody this year. Bullriders, Josh, Matt, Matt, Cody, Jeff. Bareback riders, Sylvan and Hank. Bronco riders, Jurio, Shawn, Cody. Team ropers, Jason, Darryl. Chute boss, Shawn. Paramedics, Tara and another ladies. Mo Betta Rodeo, Maury and Nikki. West Park Hospital, Laura, Greg, Dr. Emery and everyone (I'm sorry I couldn't remember everyone...). Pastor Jim and his family, that was great lunch!!

Now I'm back in Utah. As I said, it takes pretty long so I'll be back on rodeo, maybe, winter or next spring. I've got so many bills for payment so I have to fix this first and get my body heal up. I also injured inside ligament of left knee and AC joint in my right shoulder. Too bad.

Till then.

JIn'ichiro Shibahara

Jinichiro Shibahara

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