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

Chasing The Dream

Written by Jin'ichiro Shibahara

Dec 22, 2006 - About Rodeo this year

As Christmas draws near, the fact that the bull riding season has ended seems to fell realer.

As has been reported on this site, Adriano Moraes was victorious in the PBR.  Honestly, I was quite surprised at this.  Another Brazilian,  Guilherme Marchi, was so dominant throughout the season, and after having seen him ride on TV, it seemed to me he was able to ride any type of bull, so I was sure this was his year.  His desire for the World Championship was extremely strong since finishing in second place last year by a hair-thin margin, and after coming into the finals in peak condition, even he had declared "This is my year."  I haven't seen this year's PBR finals yet, nor have I looked at their homepage either, so I haven't seen the scores for each round and don't know what transpired to allow Adriano to win, but what I can say from knowing the results is that, there is no doubt he is one of the greatest bull riders of all time.  I am almost sure he was became the leader in total lifetime earnings, surpassing Chris Shivers, thus his greatness being proven in reality and not just in name.


Moraes on Here's Your Sign
©2006 PBR

Adreano Moraes
©2006 PBR

Guilhelme Marchi on Squirt Gun
©2006 PBR

Meanwhile, the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) of the PRCA has also concluded.  Thebullriding here, I believe, is what you would call an "upset."  Even the great Donnie Gay was saying that Matt Austin, last year's champion, was sure to do it again this year, however, Austin sustained a "sports hernia" from his abdomen and leg joint he injured in October, and this was his first competition following a month off.  As would be expected, the injury hadn't fully healed, resulting in a lackluster performance. Therefore, my expectations shifted to Sonny Murphy, who was in his second year of competition.  Sonny calls Utah home, and we had met a number of times at circuit rodeos.  He did well throughout the year, remained uninjured and steady.  Even at a mere 20 years of age, he is an extremely amiable athlete.  However, he seemed to have injured his neck when he got bucked-off early in the competition, resulting in his being sidelined midway through.  Luckily, I was able to catch the 6th round on television, but he was already wearing a neck brace at that point.  When all was said and done, it was B. J. Schumacher who rallied from 4th place in regular season standings to win.


Scott Schiffner
©2006 PBR Canada

Another event is the "Canadian Finals Rodeo"held over a two week time in November in Edmonton, Alberta.  Starting this year, non-Canadians are allowed to enter the CFR, with nine Americans and one New Zealander competing in this year's event.  Of these, two Americans became "Canadian Champions" in the Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing, respectively.  Now, in the bull riding, the victor was an athlete named Tanner Girletz.  He is only 20, but I have known him since he was 17 when we rode in armature, semi-pro, and PBR events in Canada together.  When I broke my face in five places at a bull riding event in Red Deer, Alberta back in October of 2003 and was taken to a hospital, it was Tanner who gathered all my gear left at the arena into my bag and kept it for me.  His abilities have been highly regarded for some time, with many saying he would someday take Canada, and I am sincerely happy for Tanner.  On the other hand, Scott Schiffner, who had finished the regular season in first place, rewriting the Canadian recored for single season earnings in the process, unfortunately, had a less than desirable CFR, missing out on his second Canadian bull riding championship.  But, what's amazing about Scott is, two weeks later he was able to clinch victory at the National Finals of the newly created "PBR Canada" to become the first PBR Canada Champion.

Well, that has been a real simple summery of this year's bull riding season.  The 2007 season however, as I wrote last year about this time, has already begun.  It has not been a good couple of seasons for me, what with injuries the year before, and then injuries again this year.  Injuries are an issue all who live their lives in this sport must face, but I intend to make "not getting injured" one of my important goals for next year.

I have included a few photos of the area where I am living.  The temperature starting dropping in November, and it gets about 20 or 30 degrees (Celsius) below zero sometimes, but lately it's been warming up and averages only about 10 below.  The sun comes up around 9 a.m. and goes down before five.  Please take care not to catch a cold.  Merry Christmas to all of you and have Happy Holidays!!

Jinichiro Shibahara

translatated by Randy Reese


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