Driving Away from Money

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

I never had to do that before.

by Cade Swor

I’m winning third in the average at Ponoka, Alberta. That makes up for the what happened at Springdale, Arkansas, a couple days ago. It was the first time I’ve had to drive away from a round to make a bigger rodeo.

Me and Stetson gave ourselves a cutoff of 9:30 p.m. We had to leave Springdale by then if we were going to make the morning slack at Greeley, 816 miles away. I tied my first calf in 10.2. I was real proud of the run, considering the conditions. It was muddy, with a lot of water in the arena. I knew the average was going to be soft. I always seem to do well when conditions are not as good. If you can ignore the weather and just rope normal, your odds of winning go up. I thought I had a great chance to win that rodeo.


But the rain pushed everything back. Soon, 9:30 rolled around. If we weren’t careful, we’d run the chance of turning out at Greeley. I didn’t want that. I’ve won Greeley two out of the last four times. We pulled out of Springdale at 9:35. After placing in the first round, I had to turn out of the second round--left about four grand laying back there--and we were still cutting it close. If we had been driving to any other rodeo other than Greeley, I might have stayed and tried to win the average.

We pulled into Greeley a little after 8:00 a.m. Slack was supposed to start at 8:00. I had a horse already there, but we were hauling Stetson’s horse, and he needed at least twenty-five minutes to get his horse out, get him a drink and get him ready to rope. We were cutting it close!

As it turns out, somebody at Greeley left the water on, and it flooded the boxes. They had to haul new dirt in, so slack got pushed back at least forty-five minutes. I told the guys, I swear I had nothing to do with!

If we had only known, I could have stayed in Springdale for my second calf. But how are you supposed to know when that stuff happens?

Keep up with all the action during the Fourth of July run HERE.

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