As most of you know, I’ve been running in a summer barrel racing series about 80 miles west of here. Last night was the conclusion of that series and as I mentioned yesterday, I was winning the buckle in the 4D.
For those of you unfamiliar with the D-System, or Divisional system, here’s a brief tutorial:
The fastest time of the night sets what is to be called the 1st Division, or 1D. So if, for instance someone runs a 17.621 and that’s the fastest time of the night, they win the 1D. Add to that 1/2 a second, or 5-tenths, and you have the start of the 2nd Division or 2D. That time would have to be a 18.121. Rarely will you end up with someone running the exact time needed to set the 2D, so it would go to the next closest time- maybe an 18.2xx. The 3rd Division, or 3D, would be 1/2 of a second slower than the 2D. So in our example it would be a 18.621- or a full second off the 1D time. And the 4th division or 4D is a second and a half off.
There’s a lot of advantages to doing a divisional system like this. You can see how your horse is stacking up compared to more experienced, faster horses; and you can also ride a slower horse if you’re less inclined to go as fast, but you can still “win”. I know women that are embarrassed to have anything less than a 1 or 2D horse. Me, I don’t care- so long as my horse is happy, I’m having fun, and we’re consistent. And in this case we were. Plus, I can rope and drag calves to the branding fire, open gates, move cows, start colts, flag colts and put a kid on my horse. Those are all more important, to me personally, than having a crazy barrel horse that wins and can only run barrels.
We finished the series tied for the lead in the 4D. If I’d have managed one tenth faster last night, I wouldn’t have to share the title with anyone, but if I’m going to have to share it, I guess there’s no one better to share it with than my crazy friend, Sharon.
Here’s our new jewelry:
I let Sharon take it home- the club is ordering a second buckle, so we don’t have to share!
Gumpers did really great this summer, and I’m anxious to see how much improvement we’ll make over the coming years. On an unrelated note, I am officially going to ride with Buck Brannaman, AGAIN, in September in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I’m not taking Gump this time, however. I’m hauling his little brother, Dino. And I plan to learn a lot more that will make Gump, Dino, and every horse I ride better!