Racing Horses and Bustin Mutton

First let me apologize.  I know some of you have probably been losing sleep and agonizing over not knowing the outcome of the Matched Horse Race.  I’m really sorry to leave you hanging like that.

I’ve had some technical difficulties…..


Before we left for Wyoming, Joe mentioned to me that my computer hard drive was almost full.  “You’re about to run out of memory on your computer,” He said.  And I thought that what he implied in that statement was this, “you’re about to run out of memory on your computer and I know you’re going to want to take a lot of pictures and videos when you’re home, so I’ll get that fixed for you before you leave so that you don’t have to worry about it.”  I mean, being married to a Senior Director at one of the leading computer hard drive companies in the world, you would think, the last thing I should have to worry about is how many gigabytes I have!

But it as it turns out, what he actually meant was, “You’re about to run out of memory on your computer.”  That’s it.  Just a statement of fact.  Nothing implied.

Men are weird.

Anyway, it turns out when your computer runs out of space, really frightening things start happening.  It starts losing pictures and videos and there are tears and headaches and cursing.  It’s not pretty.  But the lucky thing about being married to a Senior Director at a leading computer hard drive company, is that you have someone who will get you more gigabytes and move things around and figure out how to find the missing stuff and so without any further adieu, here is the conclusion to the big race.

But first I have to tell you about the Rodetto and the Mutton Bustin.

Hadley and her cousin Ashley were in the Rodetto again this year.  They did excellent and both won checks in more than one event.


Ashley running barrels


Hadley running poles


Ashley running poles


Hadley running barrels

Hadley even won enough to buy herself this awesome pair of new boots!  Pretty work ladies!


Nice boots Had!

And then these two found the donut box.  Nothing makes a couple of kids happy like a whole box of donuts and adults distracted just enough to not notice how many they are eating.


Anne and Hadley were once again in charge of getting the Mutton Bustin contestants geared up and ready and then handing out awards afterwards.

They take their job very seriously and do excellent work.

IMG_3476 IMG_3173



And Alexandra made her Mutton Bustin debut this year.  Her big sis got her geared up and  being a former Mutton Bustin champ, offered some words of advice, which were, “hang on and don’t let go!”


Hadley getting Alex geared up


She’s ready!

And hang on she did!  She didn’t hang on quite long enough to make it to the short go. But look out next year because she’s got the fire in her belly now!


Hang on Alex!




waving to the crowd

Here it is in live action.


And now the horse race.  It was definitely western but nobody got hurt and that is really all that matters at the end of the day.  All the contestants were family, friends and neighbors so that made it extra interesting.  Jamie ended up racing our cousin Jack in one race and Kim in another, so there was a cousin race and a sister race.  It brought up flashbacks from childhood, of trying to settle on who had the fastest horse, when we should have been holding herd.  Only this time there were more people watching and Uncle Rog wasn’t there to shake his head at us….actually, now that I think about it,  I’m pretty sure he was up there shaking his head at us.

So if you recall how it all started.  Dick asked Jamie to jockey his horse Tigger and she, respectively declined in favor of riding her own horse Pig Pen.  So, Dick went in search of another jockey.  Pretty soon half the neighborhood had entered up.  Dick ended up having Annie K. ride the first night and then Kim finished out the race since Annie wasn’t available all week.  There were a couple of other jockey subs since Jack and Laura couldn’t be there one night.


The original challenge

Quick side note – First, I was in a different filming spot every night and never had a good angle on the finish line.  I have already scoped out a better spot for next year.  Second, in the first couple of videos someone is screaming like a lunatic.  I don’t know who it was but I think once they realized that they would sound like a crazy person when the videos were played back, then they decided to calm themselves down because it’s not as noticeable in the later videos, so turn the sound down for the first couple and then it’s safe it turn it up again.

And also, I had to choose between video and still pictures on most races because, well, I can only do one thing at a time!  Joe was there on Wednesday night to take still photos for me but otherwise it’s video only of the actual races.  I might need to hire an employee for next year.

Every night started off with a pre-race conference at the horse trailers.




Laura and Garrett


Strategizing and trash talk



And then warming up and more pre-race strategizing and occasional trash talk.


Casey, Annie and Kendra pre-race conference


waving to the fans


Jack, Laura and Garrett


Casey trying to track down a different pair of boots for Jamie….long story

First night – First up Annie K. on Tigger vs Kendra on California Chrome


Annie and Kendra on their marks….

And the winner was Annie and Tigger!

Then we had Casey and Mr. Johnny vs. Jeff and Rags.  We thought the finish line was the end of the arena, so we were really excited because it looked like Casey won.  But it turns out that the finish line was closer to the start line and she hadn’t quite passed Jeff at that point.  So the winner was Jeff and Rags!

Second night – Jamie and Pig Pen raced against Jack and Misbehavin’ Angel.  Jamie came out ahead on that one and then Laura and Ol’ Rip raced against Garrett and Crazy Cora.  And the girls made a clean sweep as Laura won her race too.


Jamie had her game face on


Cousin challenge


And they’re off!



Garrett and Laura on their marks


IMG_3412 IMG_3423

Third night – Kim rode Tigger and raced against Jeff on Rags.  Kim makes a smart move at the barrel giving her just enough edge to win this one.

In the video the announcer says Annie is riding a horse called Bruiser.  She’s not.  It’s Kim riding Tigger.  He also says the owner, Dick, is engaged to be married.  This was surprising, especially to his wife Joan.  But we knew who was who, so it didn’t really matter.  We’re still trying to track down Dick’s fiancé….

Now this night was also Tough Enough to Wear Pink night.  Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a campaign to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Lots of cowboys wear pink on this night in honor of those who have fought breast and other cancers.  So, we decked out Pig Pen in pink ribbons – for Mom’s fight against breast cancer – blue ribbons – for Grandpa’s, Uncle Jack’s and Mom’s fight against colon cancer -and orange ribbons for our friend Tom’s fight against kidney cancer.  And Jamie dedicated her race that night to all of them.  The announcer only says it’s in honor of Mom but it was in honor of all of them and it made Mom cry.



Looking sharp Pig Pen


Pig Pen wanted a selfie with all of us


So, the second race that night was Jamie vs. Laura.  Their horses were ready to go and they almost take out the starter – the only rule, remember, don’t run over the starter – was very nearly broken.  In the end Jamie and Pig Pen pulled out another win.

Fourth night – this night there were three riders in each race.  First up, Casey, Garrett and Jim riding for Jack.  Jim and Misbehavin’ Angel win this one.


Casey and Mr. Johnn


Jim standing in for Jack

Then it was Kendra, Jeff and Will riding for Laura. There was a near collision at the barrel and Kendra ended up the winner.

Finals night – And here we are at the finals.  Racing for third and fourth place we had Jack riding Misbehavin’ Angel and Kendra riding California Chrome.  Kendra won.  When Dad asked Jack how he felt about being beat by a girl, he said, “oh I’m used to it.  I am married to Laura.”  Attaboy!

And running for first place and second place, we are back to where we started.  Who is faster Tigger or Pig Pen?


Jamie and Dick wished each other luck before the race and they mostly meant it too!


Dick consulting with his jockey. Even though the announcer says it was Annie riding Cruiser, it was actually Kim riding Tigger

Kim rode Tigger again in this race, so it was sister versus sister.  And it was neck in neck from start to finish. A real horse race!  If you’re worried they might have gone easy on each other, you know, because their sisters and all…..don’t worry.

And at the end of the night bets were settled and everyone raised a glass (or bottle) together because friendships trump horse races….at least until next year.


Somebody owes somebody something


Here’s to good friends and fast horses

Oh, right!  You’d like to know who won!  You’ll have to watch the video…..



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6 Responses to Racing Horses and Bustin Mutton

  1. Nancy cervi says:

    Loved the story wish I had been t here to see everyone
    I an imagine how everyone is already preparing for 2015

  2. Sharon says:

    You made me cry too–you gals are AWESOME!

  3. Jamie Harkins says:

    Great Post Jody! And great race Dick! Congrats! Must of been the good feed Tigger was on :).

  4. Pingback: Happy Birthday Kimmi! | Pretty Work

  5. Pingback: Happy Birthday Jamie! | Pretty Work

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