‘A colt with a lot of fire!’
Thu, 04/13/2017 - 4:14pm admin
Garryowen colt starts strong in UBHA rodeo circuit
By Andrew Turck / Big Horn County News
Literally kicking its way to a strong start on the United Bucking Horse Association rodeo circuit, a colt from Garryowen named Many Moons Glacier recently earned first-place honors in futurity in the 2-year-old class. Commenting on the occasion, held at the Events Center in Casper, Wyo., the Association Facebook page called him, “A colt with a lot of fire!”
Raised by Lucy Real Bird on the O-W Ranch, Many Moons Glacier competed in the dummy classes; this means that a mechanical rider was attached to him and he needed to try to buck it off. He scored 84 of a possible 100 points.
“The dummy’s attached to the flank, we open the gate and the horse is bucking out there for eight seconds,” said Lucy’s father Henry Real Bird, describing the scene. “Then the dummy falls off.”
Only one in 50 horses can buck well, Lucy said, “and we don’t know how long that horse will buck.” As such, horses at the O-W Ranch are bred for their kicking abilities to give them a better shot at winning rodeos.
According to Lucy, the O-W Ranch began as a cattle operation, but – once the loan for their cows was paid off – Henry decided to sell them in exchange for bucking horses around 1996-97. Their horses, Lucy continued, have gone on to win competitions at the Indian National Finals Rodeo. United Bucking Horse Association rodeos – which began three years ago with the stated goal of promoting “quality bucking horses in their fledgling years” – are the Real Bird family’s next target.
With Lucy and her uncles’ sons, the profession of raising and competing with bucking horses has moved on to the second generation. Lucy’s uncles Richard and Kenny also placed in the Casper competition – fifth in the 3-to 4-year saddle bronc class and fifth in the 2-year-old class respectively.
As a member of the Crow Tribe, Lucy ties her family’s current horse-raising activities to the nineteenth century shrinking of tribal territory. Because of her tribe’s hardships, she said, they needed to adapt.
“When our warriors were put on reservations, they became cowboys,” she said. “Since we were put on the reservation, horses have been a part of our culture and who we are as a people.”
Henry said Many Moons Glacier – now vying for the Association’s final 2017 rodeo in Las Vegas – will be competing at future Region 2 competitions. These will include a June 2 event in Sidney, Mont. and the “Hell’a Roarin” event on June 10 in Gardiner, Mont.