- Created on Friday, 31 August 2012
- Written by Jimmy Bankston (aka Cornbread)
- Hits: 1081
Don’t see many back fence violations anymore, or if you do, it is after other penalties have occurred. There usually isn’t enough room between the markers and the herd to survive that close encounter. The back fence, aka “the exit ramp,” is based on not scattering thousands of head of wild cattle being held on open ground.
It is pretty simple; while working a cow, you cause her to light off the afterburners by coming out of a turn late and hitting her in the back-end parts. You are no longer working or controlling her, but chasing her. Like the real-life-boy-meets-girl deal, you chase her till she catches you. During free range days, there were no fences to get within one step of. You couldn’t just chase that thing around the whole herd. Something would have had to give.
So we have a back-fence penalty and any mistake made that can even start such a chase is already a penalty. Now you’re out and you just as well pull up and call ‘er done. Herd etiquette. Mind your manners. Some exceptions;
Everyone else is worse. It’s the finals. A really wide back fence. Still, almost certainly, you have been one-pointed by then. Add the three points for back fencing and it’s over.
Believe I’ll write about some other stuff now. My mind is occupied with the just-ended Derby. Even though it’s old news by now.
It was good. No two shows at Will Rogers are the same. They are living things with their own personalities. Of the Triple Crown events, it is the most brutal. Always hot. Last year was hotter. There were some nice mornings this year, but by afternoon, Hades was looking good. There was construction. Parking especially for the day haulers was whacked. I am really proud of how well everyone handled it. No parking lot attendants were harmed in the making of this show. There were winners and we gave away the money.
We finally caught a real thief, even though he was no Ali Baba. The sale, like all sales, was good or bad, depending if you are pitching or catching. Buyers market but no one steals a great horse. The words that comes to mind are: Smooth, Steady, Machine Like. Everybody just came and did and left. Everybody in a pretty good mood.
You should have been here. My opinion, which is worth not very much, cash-wise is that there are things to learn at Will Rogers. Things about cutting you can learn nowhere else. Current things. The Coliseum is the best place in the world to watch or show a cutting horse. Best horses, trainers and riders. Here, you can make comparisons. Horses to horses, riders to riders, practices to practices. Watch best-in-the-world trainers work horses in the practice pen. See how they are cared for after their go. Tack and saddles the best are using. What goes on here is what works. It is the people who create and perfect winning programs. The people and horses who are on the covers and in the pages. Great people and great horses who have and continue to build cutting.
As you read this, the Futurity is about 80 days out. Early enough to get discounts on travel, sleeping places, tickets and to trick your friends into committing to go. World-renown art museums are across the street. Yu Darvish could hit them with a horse apple. Could even go to a Cowboys game if you are bent that way. There will even be horses for sale the last week. Hundreds of them. World champion ones. No regrets coming here.
We all have things we put off, finally do and have regrets about not doing sooner. Some never get done, those regrets, you really don’t want. This is one of them. Fort Worth during the Futurity. If this is not on your list, you are not a cutter.
Last, there is a nagging need for lopers. Real pro lopers. The worst, most difficult of jobs that you could ever hope to have. Testing you physically and mentally. One which you will look back on with pride. One which is credit-earning on any resumé. It doesn’t pay much in dollars. It pays a lot in self-worth and independence. An entry into the world of cutting and the people in it. Mostly Y chromosomes but there are more and more Xs. You must have skills that require hard work and dedication to perfect.
Cornbread thinks: Being a loper is like being a Navy Seal. Not many make it but those that do are golden.