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April 6, 2014

2014 WALKER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO — Competing in rodeos gives bareback, saddle bronc riders ‘adrenaline rush’

HUNTSVILLE — From the time they mount their horses in the chute until the eight-second horn goes off, plus a little extra time on occasion, there’s thrills all around.

The cowboys and cowgirls competing in either bareback riding or saddle bronc riding have a short time to make the most of their turn atop their horses every time out.

“It’s the ultimate adrenaline rush. It’s crazy,” said Huntsville native Cody Ziober, who competed in bareback atop Flaming Desire. “Supposedly, it’s controlled chaos. That’s how you’re supposed to do it. There’s no feeling like it. You’re scared at first when you first start out. Over the years, it becomes just an excitement and you want to do well.”

A host of riders put their skills on display Saturday night at the Walker County Fairgrounds for the final performance of the Walker County Rodeo.

For most riders, they all started out doing a little bit of everything as youngsters, but eventually stuck with riding horses in rodeo circuits.

“It fits my personality and it pushes you to your limits,” said bareback rider Evan Jayne, a native of Marseille, France, who has lived in Texas for the past 16 years. “That’s a good feeling when you can get off the horse and say you gave it your all. It’s a big rush of adrenaline.

“It’s challenging. It’s fun. You learn a lot.”

Whether they’re competing in bareback or in saddle bronc, the riders know they have an animal that weighs between 1,000 to 1,300 pounds trying to buck them off as best they can and the cowboys and cowgirls are simply trying to hold on for dear life.

“You get numb to it. You don’t weigh any of that stuff. If you’re thinking about numbers or danger, you’re getting on for the wrong reasons,” said saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley, who competed in last December’s National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and rode Swagger Jacked.

“It never dawns on you until you’re underneath them. Then you think about it really fast. It’s more of you’re controlling your own body weight. It’s more of how you control your weight is what holds you on the animal. The animal’s doing everything it can and you’re trying to hold on.”

Bareback riding, the first event, presented more of a hometown feel with a pair of cowboys, Bill Tutor and Ziober, from Walker County as well as Jayne, who still has a home in Huntsville.

“It’s always great to come back to your hometown and do what you love to do. I grew up watching this rodeo, so it’s cool to ride in it.

“With me and Tutor and even Evan being around Huntsville, it’s just cool that we’re all from around the same place. We grew up in high school rodeoing together. We’re all getting to that point where we’re all competing really competitively in pro rodeo.”

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Delanise Taylor, center, receives congratulations and hugs from her friends after being named as the new principle of Huntsville Intermediate School at the HISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday evening.

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