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Life is good for the rodeo stock

When life ends for me on this orb, and I head to the big roundup in the sky or that giant campfire below, it would tickle my heart to find out there’s an afterlife.

Man, it would be cool to get another chance on Earth.

I dang sure don’t want to relive mine. I just want to come back as one of those lucky critters that co-star here at the National Finals Rodeo.

Maybe as a bucking horse or bull, but only if I could pick the unlucky hombre who tries to stay on my back for eight seconds. I’ve already started a list of who I’d like to buck and stomp a few times.

Man, oh man, makin’ it to the NFR standing out in the corral near the Thomas & Mack would be like two weeks at a five-star resort.

And the eats Omolene, whole oats, and Rocky Mountain COB with molasses in it. Don’t know what "COB" is but molasses sounds good.

There’s even medicated feed for calves.

Woo-eee. That’s a Vegas buffet for anything with hooves.

A lust for being a bull or bucking horse has nothing to do with the rewards for winning go-rounds and world championships. Trust ol’ Buck, if you knew how they sometime breed these suckers you wouldn’t be interested either.

It wouldn’t be bad even to be one of the steers or calves. Usually they end up on the wrong end of a rope but every once in a while they get to make fools out of those cowboys.

Were I to be one of those rope catchers, running from cowboys would be like a stay of execution before my parts ended up on a dinner plate.

Those uneducated about rodeo don’t understand the love rodeo competitors have for their animals, whether they’re ridin’ them, ropin’ them or rasslin’ them.

Cowboys also respect their legacy and often treat their horses like big ‘ol puppy dogs.

They often learned that from their daddies and eagerly pass it on.

Take Trevor Brazile and his 4-year-old son, Treston, who follows his old man to the arena and throws rope — sometimes at goats — while the 15-time world champ practices.

Trevor wouldn’t mind if Treston keeps ropin’ but he says he’d never force him into it.

But there’s more important parts of rodeo and ranch life than stopping clocks for record times.

"He’s learning the cowboy code about caring for animals and hard work," Trevor says. "Those qualities are invaluable in the world today."

Any day, really.

And you don’t have to appreciate that creed or compete in rodeo to be a cowboy.

Dr. Garth Lamb is a true cowboy.

My steed, ol’ Punky, is darn near 20 and probably wouldn’t be around without Doc Lamb taken care of him. Sure am glad the doc calls Southern Nevada home.

Doc will be honored tonight during the third go-round of the NFR as this year’s 2011 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Veterinarian of the Year.

It sure is about time. It also shows the quality of our Southern Nevada horse community. Doc is the main sawbones at the Desert Pines Equine Center and has worked the NFR since it moved here in 1985.

The doc was honored Wednesday at the PRCA Awards Banquet at the South Point. He’ll get to take his bow tonight before almost 18,000 folks.

And he can rodeo. He was on the rodeo team at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah, before he started to practice veterinary medicine in 1975 in Las Vegas. He started the equine center in 1998.

(Pardon me while I take a detour. I just wrote that Doc started to "practice veterinary medicine." I never liked usin’ "practice" to describe what a doctor does. Before one cuts on me I want to know his practicin’ days are way back yonder in the dust.)

It’ll be great to see Doc take a bow tonight. Just think, he’s volunteered at the NFR for 27 years.

He doesn’t do it for the money, just the love for animals and rodeo.

Darn good combination.


Share your NFR thoughts with Vegas Buck by sending him a telegram or a message at buckaroolve@gmail.com by using that newfangled email.

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