©Bert Gildart: Like most other rodeos, The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale makes every attempt to run smooth and be colorful. To do so, men have specific functions and the horses have names and qualities that make them more colorful and more appropriate to the sport.
In the horse department, most of the horses are bred to produce rugged characteristics, and arrive with names such as “Friendly Fire,” “Bragging Rights,” “Lunatic Fringe,” “EZ Money,” and “Smokey Lonesome.” Yet another, “Silly Sam” has a 100 percent buck-off rate in 2014 at rodeos in Denver, Rapid City and Clovis. All are noted for their ability to kick high and to twist and turn. Danny Halverson, one of the judges, told me that “drop,” was another important feature. “A horse springs into the air with all four feet off the ground and then,” he said, “it drops. That can unseat some of the very best cowboys.”
Obviously riders are important and the MCBHS attracts some of the nation’s best cowboys, to include Jesse Bail, who has won close to 2M dollars in his 15-year rodeo career. Other top names – and their final scores in last night’s final, include Andy Clarys, 85.50; Jake Costello, 84; Jeff Willert, 82.50; Max Filippini, 80.00.
Pickup men serve the very vital job of getting a cowboy off his horse –safely. To rank, a cowboy must stay on his horse for eight seconds, and getting a rider off that horse requires incredible riding skills. In one of the pictures you’ll see a pickup man trying to position himself behind Jesse Bail following that man’s successful ride.
Yet another man who serves a vital role is the Chute Man, and Ty Linger, who is pictured here in a vest, is a third generation Chute Man, and, here, for me, there is an interesting though personal story. Sonny Linger, Ty’s grandfather, was also a Chute Man, and Janie and I met Mr. Linger about five years ago in Big Bend National Park. Ironically, he was camped next to us in the most incredible 34-foot Airstream we’ve ever seen. It had several slideouts and the interior was posh.
Unfortunately, Sonny passed away several years ago, and certainly family members miss the man. But so does the rodeo world. Nevertheless, his grandson, Ty, has mastered the skills to be a top Chute Man. As such he is required to help load the horses into the holding pen, seat riders, and generally determines when horse and rider are ready to enter the arena. “He’s the boss,” said Roxanne Harding, a Miles City bucking horse enthusiasts who has lived on a ranch all of her life.
So here are a few images depicting the folks described above. Sadly, the MCBHS ended last night, and we’ll soon be heading home. It’s been great!
AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR:
4th ed. Autographed by the Authors
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.
Big Sky Country is beautiful
Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State
Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.
$16.95 + Autographed Copy
What makes Glacier, Glacier?
Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent
Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons
$16.95 + Autographed Copy