Pilot Journal
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cowboy Christmas

Rodeo in the American West

Champion calf roper K.C. Jones is backing his horse, a brown-and-white paint named Mornin’ Spot, into the right rear corner of what they call the box, next to the chute. He’s focused like a red-tailed hawk dive-bombing a field mouse." />

Our final event for the week was in Steamboat Springs, Colo., at the Steamboat Springs ProRodeo Series. Two nights, two evening performances and some ground-shaking fireworks on July fourth. The Stock contractor (they bring in the bulls and bucking horses, and in this case, the music) for this event was Bad Company Rodeo of Del Rio, Texas, and they really know how to throw a rodeo. The combination of the venue, with bleachers cut into the mountain, the stylish, resort-town crowd and the rock-and-roll music, made Steamboat the rockingest rodeo of the week.

On July 5th, the denouement of an amazing week, as we flew in a flight of two back to Cody, K.C. asked if we’d like to see some wild Mustangs on the open range southeast of town. Within minutes, we were orbiting over families of athletic horses speckled with brown-and-white patches and long, piecey manes fluttering in the breeze. They were as free as the wind, prancing and frolicking. It was unforgettable and the perfect end to our week as cowboys. Upon landing at Cody in the shadow of Yellowstone, we were as spent as ranch hands after working land on the homestead. Cowboy Christmas was over. We returned to K.C.’s ranch on the outskirts of town, where I practiced throwing a rope at a calf dummy as dusk washed over the prairie. While concentrating on ringing the plastic calf horns about 10 feet away, I reflected on how we were able to touch, and live, true American history by flying two of the coolest, newest, high-performance airplanes.

Log on to www.showdownpictures.com to learn more about our film, Cowboy Christmas.


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