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

Chasing The Dream

Written by Jin'ichiro Shibahara

2008 season

JUL 5, 2008 - West Jordan, UT: Disappointment
Western Stampede (PRCA)

I got back from Rupert about two in the morning, wrote up my report and finally got to bed about five but was awake before noon.  West Jordan’s only about 30 minutes from here, so I can relax a while longer.

It was about 7 in the evening when I got to the arena, but West Jordan was showing 108 on the mercury with the sun shining bright and hot.  The festivities were still ongoing from the day before, but there didn’t seem to be all that many people out.  The arena was at the corner of a large sports complex made up of a softball field, a gym and a large open lawn where shops and booths had been set up for the fair.  So far from the sea, yet seagulls glided in the sky above.

Go to the office, pay the $140 entry fee and go find my bull, #308 Catfish of Burch Rodeo.  Thick, short horns sticking out of a pitch black hide.  Muscular too.

Cowgirls on horseback conducted a performance in the arena as part of the opening ceremony to kick off the rodeo.  The rodeo had two rounds of mutton busting scheduled between the events and it took a while for them to get to the bull riding, but finally, Catfish got loaded up into a right-hand delivery.  I wrapped my rope around the bull and went to find someone to film my ride for me.  One of the woman working for the rodeo said she had some time so she would do it for me.

Back in the chute, I wrapped the rope around my left hand but realized I had let out my rope too far, so I compensated by loosening the rope a bit to get the part I had worked the rosin into to lie in my hand.  Wrapping the rest of the tail around my hand and gripping tight, I nod for them to open the gate.  One jump and he turned hard to the right.  Not a bucking turn, not a tight corner, just a turn to the right as if he’d been guided in that direction by the bullfighters.  And to the right he continued, smoothly and honestly.  About the third kick my arm got stretched out, my chin came up and off I was flung.

I thanked the lady who had filmed the ride, went to the back and threw my rope to the ground.  It was just like Arizona last November.  I was infuriated.

Fireworks lit up the sky after a while and I sat there, sipping water, watching and re-watching the video.  The anger and frustration kept building and I couldn’t bring myself to get up right away.

The arena went quiet and the lights went out.  Finally, I put my gear away and headed to my car.  Sitting down in the seat I could still feel Catfish between my legs.  I left the arena, but just didn’t feel like going straight home.

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