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          July 18, 19, 20 and 21st was the 103rd California Rodeo held in Salinas, CA. This event is the largest Pro Rodeo held in California and one of the top 15 in the nation. For me, it was a hometown rodeo in the fact that I was raised and grew up in Salinas. My family still resides in Salinas, and I have many friends and family that live there. It will also count as one of my CA Circuit Rodeo’s and what I won there will guarantee me qualifying to my Circuit Finals.

          Salinas is a very exciting place to run--you are on the track and there are events going on in the arena simultaneously. It helps Pardner to have Clifford walk me up to the start and another horse on the other side--this helps keep him calmer and straight. You need to get a good angle on the first barrel to set you up for the second, because there is not much room before you turn the second. It is a ways to the third barrel and when you turn it and run home, there is no fence to stop you. This is so cool because you don’t have to come to a sudden halt, like at most of our California Rodeos.

          My goal at Salinas is always to place in the go rounds and NOT hit any barrels, so I have the chance to make it back to the short go round. On my first run in slack Pardner felt like he was going to go on the wrong side of the second barrel and I had to help him move over. There is not much time for corrections on this pattern and it was a sloppy run. We were out of position and we nearly hit the second. I was grateful that the first run did not fall apart. The second go was during the perf and he felt good--he loves a crowd! This actually felt like my fastest run, but was not. The third go went smooth and I was thrilled to make it back to the short go in fourth place on three runs. My short go round run, I could have completed the third barrel better--he popped out because my timing was off. Always pilot error—I fault myself--Pardner is a rock star in my books!  Read more...