Border Scare

photo courtesy of Taci Bettis

photo courtesy of Taci Bettis

I was really starting to worry about missing the short round at Ponoka.

by Taci Bettis

We left Livingston, Montana, last night at 11:00 and drove all night back to Canada. I was scheduled for the short round at Ponoka this afternoon. We got to the border at 4:30 a.m. I was exhausted. Couldn’t keep my eyes open. Luckily, Tammy’s husband was driving.

This was only the second time in my life I’ve crossed into Canada with horses. The first was on Friday, and we breezed through. I was thinking, This is a piece of cake. My second crossing, this morning, didn’t go so good. 

The border agent was a jerk from the get-go. The whole thing started off bad as soon as we said good morning to him.

“Where are the horses from?” he asked.

“They’re from Texas,” we said.

That was a problem. To enter Canada, he told us, horses have to be out of Texas for thirty days, I guess because of disease or something. Our horses had been out of Texas for thirty days. They’d been in Colorado. But he didn’t give us a chance to say that. He cut us off.

We tried to explain, but he didn’t believe us. He sat us down and started searching the Internet for evidence I had been in Texas.

Where were you on June such-and-such, he asked. He was checking my Facebook site! He saw that I ran barrels and placed in Texas. Because my horse had been in Texas and the other horses were in the trailer with my horse, none of them were going to be able to enter Canada. He didn’t rodeo, so I had to explain to him that I was riding a different horse.

“What proof do you have that your horse was in Colorado?” he asked.

He said the only way to enter was to have a vet check the horses, but today was a holiday, Canada Day, and the nearest vet’s office was closed until Tuesday.

I was really starting to worry about missing the short round at Ponoka.

Tammy grabbed her entering calendar out of the truck and showed him: See, we were here, here, here and here. By then, a couple other border officers got involved. They seemed nicer and more willing to believe us. Tammy’s calendar convinced them. After an hour-and-a-half, they said we were free to cross the border.

We literally ran back to the rig and got out of there as fast as we could, in case they changed their minds!

We made it to Ponoka in time for the short round. I was a little slow, but Tammy made the Showdown Round tonight. As soon as she’s done, we’re hauling butt back to the U.S.  Tammy’s dropping me in Laurel, Montana, where I’m picking up my rig and driving to Red Lodge for a 2:00 p.m. perf on Tuesday. Tammy drives down to Greeley for the short round there.

On July the Fourth, me and my husband, Jeremy, drive back up to Canada to prepare for the Calgary Stampede on July 6. I’m a little nervous. I hope we get the nice guy we had during our first crossing and not the grouchy little feller we had this morning!

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

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photo courtesy of Taci Bettis

photo courtesy of Taci Bettis

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