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

Chasing The Dream

Written by Jin'ichiro Shibahara

2008 season

JUL 24,2008 – Castle Dale, UT: Same Mistake
Desert View Pro Rodeo (PRCA)

This day was a holiday, though only in Utah.  Something to do with Mormonism, but rodeos are held any day of the week so it made no difference to me; I just want to ride.  Ride and fix the problems I’ve been having lately.  Can’t fix’m if I don’t ride.

I received an interview from the other day through a photographer I met in Salt Lake.  The interview will be featured on their web site along with some of his photos of me.  I spent about 40 minutes in the morning doing the interview over the phone.  The reporter asked me all sorts of questions concerning my experiences so far, and though he had read what I’ve written here, he wanted to hear it directly from me, so he asked me about a lot of things I’ve already written.  I was surprised to learn how much the guy had read of what I had written, as well as other content of  While it was only featured on and not broadcast on the network, ESPN is still ESPN, and I never dreamed I would be featured by such an illustrious medium.

The rodeo this day started at seven thirty, and with Castle Dale being about a three hour drive, I decided to leave around three to be on the safe side.  South on I-15 to Route 6, and on east.  Along the way you pass through “the valley of wind” which is nothing more than a valley filled with giant pinwheel generators turning in the air, but it gives off a unique ambiance none the less.  Route 6 is a scenic rich route; driving between precipitous cliffs one moment, the next you are driving along the wall of a valley.  It’s a narrow highway that gives you a glimpse of what a continent has to offer.

Once in Castle Dale, I found the rodeo arena literally in the middle of the town.  It was still early and the arena was only sparsely populated with just a few cowboys and spectators, giving the area a laid back air.  The rodeo office wasn’t taking check-ins yet, so I decided to take a look at my bull.  I had drawn #T4 Chupacabra of the New West Rodeo string.  One of the guys from New West was nearby so it didn’t take me long to find him.  A cross breed of American bucking stock and Mexican fighters, he was thin and long.  I set my things out and headed back to the office to check in and paid my $120 entry fee for the night.  Alex and Chad who I had ridden with at the practice pen over the winter were also there, but Alex wasn’t going to be doing any riding with his arm in a cast as it was.  I read in the paper that he scored an 86 up in Ogden, but it seems he got a little something extra for his efforts and he was forced to turn out his bull here at Castle Dale.

As the barrel racing got underway, the chute boss came by and told me I would be going out first, but since the wild cow milking followed the barrel racing, I still had time.  As the wild cow milking wrapped up the chute boss came by again and said, “Few more minutes.  You can get ready now.”  I did as he suggested and slipped on my helmet and glove.

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The chutes all delivered in one direction, to the left as viewed from the crowd, which is to say all the gates opened to the right.  Out of the chute, Chupacabra immediately headed right.  As he kicked up high and landed, I lost my seat and my right foot popped out.  Off to his left I fell, and on to the top of me he danced.  I began to feel him step on me, here, there, everywhere.  Of all the places I could have fallen, I fell in the worst.  Didn’t get much on the video, but trust me, he put the hurt to me pretty bad.  There is no doubt that bull carried on his proud fighting bull heritage.  Finally escaping the storm, my right leg and left hip pulse in pain and my legs are shaking.  Crippling along, I somehow manage to walk out of the arena when a paramedic came running up.  It was a bad wreck and he was rightfully worried, but I was in no mood for treatment so when he asked if I was okay I yelled “I’m fine!” though I wasn’t, and leaving him standing in slight bewilderment, went to help Chad who was next out. 

Eight bull riders exited the chutes, but only one made the whistle.  The lights went out and as darkness overtook, fireworks danced into the air, dying the sky in colorful blaze.  And there nearby still, was the paramedic…  Calmer now, I took off my jeans and right sock to find a swell the size of a golf ball just above the inside of my ankle; the outside of my ankle wasn’t looking too pretty either.  The paramedic placed a disposable ice pack on my foot, which I was very grateful for.

I changed my cloths but left my socks and shoes off.  Limping back to my car, I filled the void in my stomach with the food I had brought, then headed back up the road.

The peddle felt odd against my bare foot.

Jin’ichiro Shibahara

If you would like to send a message to Jin, please Email the here, and we will post them here. If you would like us to forward the message directly to Jin, and not post it, please let us know, and we will do that too.

If you would like to send a message to Jin'ichiro Shibahara, please Email the here, and we will post them here. If you would like us to forward the message directly to him, and not post it, please let us know, and we will do that too.

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