Ted called the other day to report that his eight year old daughter had announced she was going to become a barrel racer.
Her first request was for a real horse trailer. The sixteen foot stock trailer with the cow manure floor and faulty wiring would not suffice now that she'd made her career choice.
He related all this with the whipped-dog attitude of one who just found out his new mother-in-law was a chronic sleepwalker and would be moving in with them for life. .
I said, "Ted, didn't you go to the National Finals Rodeo?"
"Sure," he said, brightening, "Speed and Rich won the roping, Billy Etbauer smoked 'em in the saddle broncs, Fred won the All Around..."
"Do you know who won the most money?" I asked.
"Well, Fred, I guess," said Ted.
"Nope, Sherry Cervi," I told him. "Matter of fact, she won $25,000 more than the next highest money winner, man or woman."
I heard Ted drop the phone and the line went dead. .
I understand. I remember I saw the final tally for the 1999 PRCA Champions and discovered what Sherry Cervi had done. My first thought was the picture of the lady soccer player brazenly showing the world that women's athletics had scaled another mountain.... or two. .
The soccer team's prowess and celebrity gave inspiration to womankind. Granted, many women athletes in recent history have distinguished themselves, particularly in golf, tennis and the Olympic events. .
Rodeo, too has had its share of impressive women participants. But, like all other athletic events, it has been
conceded that regardless of the women's ability, when competing head to head with men, they would lose.
Sherry Cervi changed that last December. Playin' by the rules, all set by men, she finished the season with the biggest paycheck in the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. And if the PRCA allowed women to enter the team roping, she'd probably have won enough in that event to leave Las Vegas wearin' the All Around Cowboy buckle. .
How 'bout that, Ted. Maybe you better start lookin' for a new trailer.
For more from this cowboy poet, visit BaxterBlack.com.