Edna Rodeo a showcase of what sport has to offer
EDNA - Things started slowly, but as the broncos bucked up, so did the competition during Friday's action at the Edna Open Pro Rodeo.
As the slippery steers avoided the lassos in the calf roping, the crowd at the Brackenridge Main Event Center here murmured and applauded politely.
It took a trio of Crossroads cowboys in the third event of the night, the ranch bronc riding competition, to excite the crowd. Woodsboro's T.J. Garcia survived his eight-second trip earning 60 points. His performance put pressure was on Hallettsville's Kevin Rainosek and Victoria's B.J. Borjas to do the same.
Rainosek's family was in the fourth row with their smartphones and camcorders to record the event. However, it was Borjas (74 points) who won the championship buckle with the highest score of the night in the competition, with five points more than Rainosek.
"There was a lot of pressure on winning it tonight," said Borjas said. "I was sitting in first and the guy right behind me (Garcia) was there on my behind. He was the first out the chute and he covered. I was the last guy out the chute and I had to cover. It was either cover and win or fall off and lose."
Borjas, 28, who was born in Woodsboro, moved to Victoria in 2001. After growing up bull riding, he was introduced to ranch bronc riding three years after his arrival on the banks of the Guadalupe. The tri-county recognition is nice, but the thrill of riding an unpredictable beast in front of hundreds of people and keeping the tradition and sport alive for younger generations are what keep the full-time rancher competing.
If the zeal evident in the eyes of the children who watched the bull riding, bareback bronc riding and other competitions was an indicator the future of rodeo is secure - at least in Jackson County.
One girl, who couldn't have been older than 6 years old, adorned in her pink and brown boots and silver spurs, stood on the fourth rung of the fence with to get a better look at those in the team roping competition.
Beeville's Stran Douglas was another youngster who was enthralled by Friday night's riders. Douglas won one of the mutton busting competitions after riding for so long his sheep just gave up and fell to the ground.
"It's just fun and you get to watch others have fun," Douglas said.
Julie Mercer, Booster Club treasurer for the Jackson County 4-H club, is hoping for a larger crowd for tonight's competition after about 450 people and a few mutton busters were on hand Friday. Though the outskirts of Tropical Storm Don may wash through the region, spectators will be protected from the elements as Brackenridge is an enclosed facility.
Proceeds from the event, which in 2010 raised $10,000, help the growing club fund scholarships and send participants to leadership camps. That the competition helped defray the costs of parents getting their children involved in ranching, riding and other agricultural activities made Borjas' win more special.
"It's a dying breed," Borjas said. "My dad was a cowboy. He's been doing it all his life. Back then there were a bunch of ranches and we were open. .Slowly, the oil fields took over and everyone did that. It is outdoors and you're out there with the horses and the cows and the wildlife. I'm trying to keep the old west tradition alive."