48OE Blog  
Feb 10

Written by: 48OE Admin
10/02/2012 10:47  RssIcon

It seems as if Rodeo is a Cowboy thing and Americans are the only ones to enjoy and watch such spectacles. There is an animal welfare issue as men try to ride Bulls and Broncos but it seems that it is the Cowboys and girls that get hospitalised.

Now I suggest we have let a golden opportunity slip through our fingers. Why don’t we have something similar in Wales? I say Wales because I live on the border and have seen the stock Welsh hill farmers can breed; giant beasts that can climb near vertical slopes and survive eleven months of rain and snow. Not bulls or broncos but fearless hill sheep.

Yesterday, a local farmer who keeps stock on one of our fields arrived in his trusty  Land Rover Discovery fitted with brutal Off Road tyres towing an Ifor Williams stock trailer. There was a wind of drama in the air and I even thought I heard a tune whistled reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood movie.

The next thirty minutes witnessed some of the best outdoor entertainment ever seen in Herefordshire. The subterfuge was the regular feeding of the ewes. However they had failed to spot the Ifor Williams trailer. As soon as heads were in the trough the farmer leapt upon his tup named Psycho. The Show began.

You don’t get a name like Psycho without good reason and with full winter coat this ram had a destiny to fulfil. Fierce, powerful and weighing in at more than the farmer he took off like a rocket with the farmer holding on to the fleece but otherwise on his side being dragged along the ground in the direction of our lake. Psycho jumped, bucked and reared, twisted, ran and circled.

Eventually after what seemed like ten minutes the farmer with a deft Taekwondo like move brought them both to a crashing halt, he was winded and on his back with Psycho on top of him. At this point I am not sure who had scored the most points.

I should caution any reader that if they ever find themselves under a tup they are in a very delicate and perhaps illegal situation. It is also very difficult to remove the dye from the back of your clothing and many of your friends will know precisely what has happened.

Anyway at this point the farmer renewed his attack and threw his arms around Psycho firmly embracing him around the Brisket. Another lifetime of antics ensued as Tup and Man wrestled around the field clearing everything in their wake including part of the hedge line. Finally due partly to exhaustion on both sides a truce seemed to materialise. It was only the final bolt from Psycho that inadvertently took him into the trailer that saved the day.

The farmer a close friend of ours was grinning from ear to ear at his accomplishment and shouted 'That’s it! - he is off to market'.

So why do we let Americans have all the fun? I would pay good money to watch this sport and it would make great TV. I really would have liked to see some of the great moves by both of them in slow motion with Hanson & Shearer commentating.