We’ll continue with our series on Michele Dibert Monday, but today it’s time for a weekend review of the Bullride Mania at Greensburg, Penn. The first rodeo at the Westmoreland County Fair in years, Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania drew in a huge and lively crowd. On top of that, some of the BEST barrel racers in Western Pennsylvania pulled in to have local shoot-out style race.
What: Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania – Bulls and Barrels only.
Who: Some of the best barrel racers in the area, but not too many from far away. 18 girls all together.
Fees: $50 cash only, one hour prior to the show.
Added Money: $300 plus 100 percent payback.
The Ground: When we pulled in, the ground couldn’t have been worse. I groaned when I walked up to the arena to see huge clumps of mud, car parts and rocks all mixed in a sticky mess. The pen was bigger than almost any of Martin’s usual patterns, and the arena was set up in an area where they usually do motocross. Two hours before the show started, the fair crew began working up the arena with three different tools. They also had people picking up huge rocks. They worked for nearly an hour, and when they were done, the arena was as close to perfect as it could get given the conditions. It wasn’t too slick and it wasn’t too deep as I had originally feared. Also, while we were warming our horses up, many of the barrel racers and Martin’s Fly-By-Night Crew picked up rocks and metal parts from around the barrels to make sure it was as safe as could be. Two horses had major slips, but most of the seasoned rodeo horses that were there loved the ground and threw down some smoking runs.
Overall: This was one of the toughest, most competitive bulls and barrels I have ever, ever been to. With only 18 girls entered, at least 14 of those girls had a solid chance at winning the barrel race. The barrels were set very close to the fence, and the first barrel was set close to the timer. It was the kind of pen that you had to get going hard before you entered the pen and then push-push-push the entire ride. For as close as the barrel were to the fence, the crowd and the bucking shoots, though, few people knocked.
The long runs were really great to get the most out of the horses. I’ve never seen a spread so close at one of Martin’s rodeos. After talking to a few other competitors, we all agreed that at most of Martin’s shows, if you run within half of a second of the winning time, you can usually pull a check. Here, however, almost all of the horses ran a 15 second time, with a 15.4 winning it and a 15.6 as the last hole to be paid. He paid four spots, with one 15. 4 (11-year-old Casey Allen), two .5s (Doreen Ulery and Bailey Angelo) and one .6 (Cathy Allen, Casey’s mom and 2008 APRA Barrel Racing Champion). Everyone had respectable runs it seemed. This was the kind of pen that a good rodeo barrel racer on a good rodeo horse could have a lot of fun. Hopefully Dave Martin will get the Westmoreland County Fair on his schedule again next year, because word will get around that this was a great little rodeo and a great place for barrel horses.
Note: Usually, I run a photo section of the ground. My camera died this weekend, and I just purchased a new one today. Sorry there aren’t any pictures!