If you heard the sound of gunfire in North Texas this last weekend, it was the Texas-Oklahoma Border Wars in full swing. Two Cowboy Mounted Shooting clubs, the Texas Smokin' Guns and the Red River Rough Riders, converged at S&S Arena in Terrell, Texas to shoot it out in two tough days of back to back competitions.

Jared and I were packed and ready by Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning, we loaded Beri (The 'Berinator') and hit the road. Terrell isn't too far for us, a couple of hours, and we made it in plenty of time, with no wrong turns. :)

Saturday and Sunday both went better than could be expected. Of course there are usually issues of one kind or another at any kind of event, but real problems were wonderfully conspicuous in their absence over the weekend. Beri and I had a few harsh words for each other Sunday morning when she cussed me out and embarrassed me for not knowing the pattern (don't you hate it when they're right!) but she worked like a dream for Jared all weekend and they pulled their first win on Sunday.

The funny thing about mares - for the writers out there - is that a really good lead mare will try to run your life. Beri hasn't been a lead mare, but she's fully mature now, eight years old, and really coming into her own. I think the traveling and competitions have helped -- she's seen a lot of the world and done a lot more than the stay-at-homes. Patricia Briggs wrote a wonderful mare by the name of Lass (The Hob's Bargain) who reminds me so much of Beri that I giggle all the way through her parts of the story.

What happened Sunday morning is that I rounded a barrel too soon in the pattern -- that didn't matter, just cost us a few seconds, but I had to round the barrel (again) *after* shooting all the light colored balloons, and so we had to go around it a second time. She knew I had screwed up and she made sure I knew she knew by stopping and sulling up for (it seemed like FOREVER) but I'm sure it must have only been a few seconds.... before she would go on and finish the pattern. Of course, she ran it beautifully for Jared during his class, but - again - that's a mare for you. He doesn't try to boss her and run her the wrong way around stuff like I do .... *sigh*.

here is a snapshot that Jared took of Beri. Anyone who knows her will find it funny because it shows her "very Beri" attitude .

and to show that some things never change, a photo of them when she was just about a week old:

here are a couple more ...

...to see how far these two have come makes me think I must be doing something right.

And I have to back up a little and say what a fantastic job the clubs did running this event. Everything ran smoothly and on time, any hitches were taken care of and transparent to the participants. Kudos to the clubs, the management and especially the organizers and volunteers for these events.

Also to S&S Arena. What a fantastic facility!! It's absolutely beautiful *and* functional. Many, many thanks to them, not only for the use of the arena and barns, but in going above and beyond with their hospitality -- Sunday during the awards presentation, they presented very nice western headstalls to each of the kids that rode in the wrangler division. It's a wonderful surprise, in these days of hard-lines with the tightening economy, to find a business with a heart, but S&S showed theirs this weekend. If you are looking for a place to host your event - be sure to check them out. You won't be disappointed.

***added: Jim Arnold got this wonderful shot of me and Beri on the second day. He's local to North Texas and does a wonderful job with equine event. Check out his website and give him a call if you need a photographer for your event or a photosession for your farm. He does good work.


L.A. Mitchell said...

Awesome pictures, Sue. Still loving the shots of you commanding a horse and shooting. That would SO not be me on a horse.

Becky Burkheart said...

Thank you LA!

That's my son in the photo in this post, but there are photos of me shooting on Beri's webpage that's link from the post.

LOL about 'not' you on a horse. I find that hard to believe, as well as you write Texas!

Anonymous said...

See more photos of the great event on my website
www.americascutter.biz. Look for the shooter on the left navigation bar and click through.

K.M. Saint James said...

These are great pictures. What a treasure to see the changes right before your eyes.

Why, if you can make Terell in a few hours then you're just spitting neighbors from me -- I hail in the Lone Star State, too.