The ceremony of the riderless horse is a time-honored tradition in the US Calvary. It signifies the loss of a rider, a fallen comrade-in-arms the end of that special bond that had developed between that rider and his horse.
Here on the IGRA Rodeo circuit, we also have adopted this tradition to help us remember our fallen comrades who in one way or the other, touched our lives and left us better off before they were called away. Be they the entertainer who brought a smile to our face that night we were down, or all those who spent countless hours raising funds for charitable causes, from which many in need benefited or the activists who strove for the civil rights which we justly deserve and enjoy more of today. These and others we wish to honor.
But today, we do not start this ceremony with a riderless horse, as we wish to also honor one who is still with us but is retiring as his time is growing near. His name is Jack and he is this 27 year old Tennessee Walker. Jack has been a constant friend and companion to his Keeper, Bryn over these years. Together, they have traveled many a mile and spent countless hours together on the trails of life, enjoying each other's company while communing with nature. As this is Jack's retirement, Bryn is taking Jack for one last ride. As she rides Jack around the arena for the last time, may we all take a moment and remember the Jack ... Jacks, in our lives, be they animal or even human, those who were always there, always doing something for us and never asking for much in return, and thank them for the time that we were able to have together and vow to find a way for us to become a "Jack" in someone else's life.
With the end of the ride comes the end of an era, but do not be sad as those that have known him will still call him to the fence, and give him his favorite treat, a hug, and tell him that they still love him. Be glad for his retirement, as in the Oklahoma Rodeo we were so painfully reminded that not all our "Jacks" make it to retirement. Yet, the torch is passed on to a younger generation and even to us and we are all charged to carry on the deeds of "Jack" and all the Jacks who have touched our lives.
As we follow in "Jack's" footsteps and serve our fellow human, a bond will develop between us and them, as wonderful as that bond between a rider and his horse. Thank you Jack for setting an example and showing us how. Thank you for being our friend ... and from here on out... may your pastures always be lush and green.
Text by Dave Elliott
Picture by Rocky
HGRA is very pleased to recognize Patrick Terry as the Grand Marshall of the 2nd Heartland Regional Rodeo. Patrick is a Colorado native living in Denver and has been active in lGRA for over 9 years. He was selected to serve IGRA in the position of IGRA Administrative Assistant in 1993. His enthusiastic support of the rodeo circuit translated into his becoming an active member of HGRA in 1994. Serving on the judges panel each year for the HGRA Royalty competition, attending and supporting HGRA at IGRA functions and on the rodeo circuit are but a few of his contributions to HGRA.
Patrick currently serves as the Chair of the IGRA sponsorship committee, successfully guiding into place a new sponsorship with United Airlines. As a certified IGRA scorekeeper we are pleased to have Patrick serve as our scorekeeper this weekend. When asked about living in Colorado but being a member of HGRA Patrick responded, "I have been a member of a really enthusiastic association in Colorado and was delighted to have the opportunity to help someone else achieve a successful and fun rodeo family. My membership in HGRA has not only allowed me to feel the pride of our success, but a whole new family of friends. No surprise to anyone, I like to party and HGRA knows how to party."
When Patrick learned he had been chosen as Grand Marshall he said, "I can't find the words to express how honored I am. I know there are many others who deserve this recognition but it really makes me proud to be a part of HGRA. Thank You!"
Welcome home again Patrick, we are pleased to have you as the Grand Marshall of Heartland Regional Rodeo '98!!