Rodeo from a critter's viewpointJul 9, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
One thing always strikes me when I attend a rodeo, like on Tuesday at the Pioneer Days extravaganza at the Lander Rodeo Grounds high on the hill overlooking the lush, green valley below.
What must the animals be thinking?
So, for our purposes here today, let's assume all these critters who get roped, ridden and wrangled during the course of a day at the arena are Disney animals who can talk.
Got it -- good.
Here we go.
So, me and a bunch of my livestock buddies are just hanging out in a lovely, peaceful pasture minding our own business one day, when some humans wearing boots and big hats show up in enormous, very loud vehicles.
Before we know it, we're all rounded up and directed into trailers being towed by said vehicles and taken away.
"Hey, this wasn't on the schedule," someone says.
"Yeah, I know," says another. "I sure hope this isn't the day."
"You know, the one we all dread."
"Oh, that one -- yikes!"
Well, it wasn't that day, but it sure wasn't pleasant, either.
We end up corralled into close-quarters with one another while all manner of hooting and hollering is going on all around us.
Oh, I get it.
Must be one of them rodeos we've heard about where us animals get to play rough with a bunch of cowboys.
"We're gonna be stars!"
So, as a steer, I'm forced into a very small, enclosed area known as a chute.
Naturally, I'm pleased as punch when the gate flies open and I get to run free out into a dusty, dirty ring in front of a throng of admirers.
Not so bad, after all.
Until one of them humans comes giddying-up beside me, flies off his mount and tackles me, darn near twisting my head off in the process.
Some wrestling match.
Never had a chance.
Besides, what on earth did I do?
My brethren bulls and horses didn't have a much better time of it, either.
Although the crowd seems to like it an awful lot when one of us bucks a cowpoke into next week.
Oh, yes, it's good to be livestock.
I think I like this rodeo business, after all.
Despite the fact there were many in the running at the rodeo to capture one of our coveted three spots this week, we're still limiting our three stars to the two-legged variety.
Alex and Dillon Fabricus,
Riverton, American Legion
Nothing like a sibling rivalry and the Fabricus brothers sure have one going to the benefit of the Raiders, as the duo has formed a strong one-two punch in the Riverton lineup this season, often batting back-to-back in the order.
During the Raiders' 15-6 win against Bozeman at a tournament in Billings on Saturday, Alex went 4-for-4, while little brother Dillon was 3-for-5.
Now, my math's a bit sketchy, but I believe that's a combined 7-for-11, which isn't bad for a day at the baseball office.
Brayden Baker, Lander
Baker was a spark plug for the Legends all weekend during their run to the championship game in the 10-and-under division of the Battle at the Winds baseball tournament in Riverton.
Not the least of which was a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the final against Green River.
Riverton 12-and-under all-stars
Not often when a youth baseballer can boast a multi-homer game, but after Friday's power display in a 15-7 victory against Powell in the Lee Martinez Memorial Battle at the Winds, Hutchison can claim that exact distinction.
Hutchison launched a pair of pitches over the fence in muscling up, alongside teammates Uriah Hines and Taylor Stevens, who also blasted cowhide into submission in the same game.
Very cool, indeed.