Rodeo bull a shorthorn trained at Longhorn
The club’s rodeo had the usual pen of bulls brought by Shane Young’s SYJ Productions in the back pens. These were bulls in the 1,400 to 1,600 pound range. In the arena, behind the bucking chutes, was a small bull being walked on a leash like a large dog.
The bull was "Swamp Pop," a miniature Zebu Brahma bull. Swamp Pop has short horns and a hump on his back and looks like a regular Brahma, only he weighs about 400 pounds and stands about three feet tall at the shoulder. He is solid black and has a brass ring in his nose. Standing quietly, he made quite a picture next to his larger cousins in the back pen.
Greg Carr of Vinton owns Swamp Pop. Carr is in the process of training Swamp Pop to be used as a "dress act" in rodeos. He hopes to teach Swamp Pop to learn a few more tricks and become used to the crowds, lights and noise of the rodeos. Carr believes his bull will soon be ready to become a star performer.
Carr has a background of 20 years as a bullfighter and is ready to move on to the next stage of rodeo. He managed his long career without a major injury.
"I feel real lucky to have come this far with no serious injuries and I’m ready to move on," he said.
Carr plans to bring Swamp Pop to the bull ridings on a regular basis to accustom him to crowds and noise.
As Carr is looking to leave bullfighting, Cody Chaisson is coming on the scene.
Chaisson is the regular bullfighter at the Texas Longhorn Club. His job is to protect the bull riders at any cost. He is a 21-year-old Lake Charles native with some of the best moves and the greatest heart ever seen in a young bullfighter. He does not hesitate to move in whenever the situation calls for him to do so.
Friday night he went to the inside of spinning bulls three times when it appeared that a rider was "in a storm." The riders all appeared to be hung in the hand ropes and Chaisson went in to distract the bull and attempt to get the bull to reverse the spin. On another occasion, the bull had run the rider into the fence and Chaisson dove in, putting himself in harm’s way to try to get the bull away. He never hesitated and when the “storms” were over, he turned away and got ready for the next ride, showing a composure that appeared far beyond his age and experience.
"I rode bulls for a few years and then when I got in high school and I decided to play football and took a few years away from rodeo. After I got out of high school I decided that I wanted to become a bullfighter," Chaisson said.
Being used to watching films for football, he took an unusual approach to learning about bullfighting. He studied films for about four months. He watched the moves that the bullfighters made and practiced them and finally decided that he was ready to go.
He worked National Little Britches Rodeo Association’s youth rodeos in the Lake Charles area and branched out into open rodeos and bull ridings like those at the Texas Longhorn. He appears to be a young man with a bright future.
Chaisson, like most in rodeo, has a "real job;" he is a supervisor for UPS and is also a senior at McNeese State University majoring in General Agriculture.
Friday night was not a great night for the bull riders. The bulls were hard spinners and high buckers. Four of the bulls made bucks that took all four feet off of the ground, and landed them hard, jarring the riders out of position and putting them in the dirt. The bulls that didn’t buck hard were tight spinning bulls and most were making fast spins that the riders were clearly not capable of handling.
The one qualifying ride of the night was an unimpressive 60-point ride that was more a case of hanging on than being in control necessary to score impressive points.
Even without impressive rides the action was still fast paced and the bulls put on a good show.
The wreck of the night goes to Larry Johnson of Pascagoula, Miss. Johnson drew a high-horned white bull that looked in the chute that he meant business. He blew out of the chute with Johnson looking pretty much in control and stable on his back. About five seconds into the ride the bull headed into the exit gate and crashed his head into the gate hard. Johnson had a good seat and a good grip but the crash was just too much for him. He nearly went over the bull’s head and the gate as well. It was impossible for him hold on. What was looking like the best ride of the night turned into the wreck of the night. As so many announcers say, "tough luck to a good cowboy."
Since there was only one qualifying ride, the payoff was good, $610.
A new feature at the Texas Longhorn is the Calcutta. Simply put, it isthe opportunity to place a bid on a rider. If you are the high bidder and the rider wins money, you also win money from the money bid in the Calcutta. The Calcutta winner Friday night received $647. When the new series starts there will be a Calcutta with each session of bull riding.
The Spring Series will begin March 7 and continue every first and third Friday through May 16. The winner of the series will win a one-of-a-kind, custom-designed buckle by Montana Silversmiths. The buckle is valued at $500. Entry fees will be $50 and $250 will be added every session
March 7 will also be a night for a special concert. The "Timeless Duo," the Bellamy Brothers, will be on the stage after the bull riding. Advance tickets are on sale now.
Except for special events, Friday nights are Ladies Nights and the beer is $1 all night long.
For more information contact the Texas Longhorn Club at 337-589-5647 or visit the website at www.thetexaslonghorn.com