Jim Bound roping

Jim Bound of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is a world-class roper who will be demonstrating roping as well as working livestock with Border Collies in the equine area during the 2016 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Walworth County.

As I look back on my career, it never did exist.

I tried to ride the broncs and bulls, I truly did persist

But I never won a buckle. Oh, second now and then

So now that I’ve got older I’m a roper, born again.

But somehow things are still the same. In fact, they’ve gotten worse!

There has to be a reason why I never come in first.

Well, friends, there is. It’s sad to say. I learned it yesterday.

I was entered in a jackpot and pressin’ all the way.

McIntire was in the lead and in the finals go

His heeler single-hocked their steer and dallied up real slow

I made a National Finals run that left the crowd in awe

And when the dust had settled Mac and me had fought a draw!

We gathered ‘round the judge to see how they would break the tie.

I got to wonderin’ if them rules of Dress Code should apply.

I pointed out that McIntire was wearin’ tennis shoes!

And decked out like a refugee embarking on a cruise.

Why, his ratty T-shirt said, EIGHT SECONDS AIN’T THAT GREAT!

If that’s no violation then there’s none to violate!

The judge thumbed through his rule book to attempt to clear the fog.

I hung on to his pant leg like a broken hearted dog.

“Oh, please pick me! I never win. There’s always somethin’ wrong.

The timer’s clock was faulty or the handle was too long.

My horse was old, my rope was new, the flagger was too slow.

He ducked his head, he drug his feet. Ya listenin’ Judge? Hello?

“It’s not my fault. It never is. The sun got in my eyes.

My hat blew off, my dally slipped, I wasn’t synchronized!”

He continued to ignore me as I knelt there in the dirt.

“You can have my stamp collection, my brand new Trevor shirt.”

I offered him my wife and kids, I’d nothing left to lose

But he finally paid attention when I threw up on his shoes.

He turned to McIntire and said, “He’s right. You get no time.”

I skipped a beat! ‘By dang,’ I thought, ‘I’m ‘bout to hit my prime!’

After years of grim donations and payin’ for the ride

I was gonna win a buckle. It felt so good inside,

The judge looked down at me and said, “Yer gettin’ second place.

By rights that buckle should be yours but you’re a special case.

You fall within the Roper’s Rule. No matter how you try

Yer doomed to be an also-ran, unlucky kind of guy

I could ignore your conduct but I’m stickin’ to my guns.

In rodeo like real life...You whiners chafe my buns.

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Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, ex-veterinarian and sorry team roper, who now lives in Arizona and travels the country,

tormenting cowboys instead of cows.