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photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

I’m not going to start throwing any Hail Marys into my schedule to try and make up for muddy runs in Canada.

by Matt Shiozawa

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My Fourth run has been going okay, but Mother Nature isn’t helping much.

We arrived in Ponoka, Alberta, on June 28th about 3:00 a.m. By morning slack it had rained two inches overnight, and it was so sloppy. I can’t say that I’ve ever pulled out due to mud. I usually just make the best of it.

I did okay at Ponoka. In the morning slop I was 11.8. By the afternoon, when it had dried out some, I was 8.4 and placed in the second round. Just goes to show how much it can affect your time.

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

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That night at Airdrie I missed my calf. Next, I headed to Williams Lake, British Columbia, and the same conditions as Ponoka. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it muddy there. It’s kind of a desert environment. But it was muddy and boggy. The grounds crews really worked to try and give us the best shot. Still, I didn’t have any luck.

I drove south, back into the U.S. Going back and forth across the border isn’t a big deal to me. I’d say I’m a veteran at it. I live pretty close to the Canadian border, maybe seven or eight hours, and I’ve made the Canadian Finals half a dozen times. Border crossings involve a lot of planning and paperwork. Your horses have to have international health papers and a Coggins test for equine infectious anemia virus, or EIAV. Certain states—usually Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona—raise a red flag because of some sort of virus. Every summer, almost without exception, someone gets stuck at the border. Thankfully, being from Idaho, I don’t have that problem.

My first stop was Livingston, Montana. I started a great run but had a stronger calf that kicked, which took me out of it. After that, I drove about three hours to Cody, Wyoming, for the 11:00 a.m. performance. That evening, I drove to Red Lodge, Montana, for their evening performance.

I’m still entered in a handful of rodeos this week. I’m not going to start throwing any Hail Marys into my schedule to try and make up for muddy runs in Canada.

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