We have a very big rodeo in Henrietta ... for a small town.
Some say its the third- or fourth-largest in Texas but there are rumors that my countrymen tend to exaggerate. So, in the interest of truth I will let it go at being a very big small-town rodeo.
I get to go every night, since a lady from the humane society from the next large town, Wichita Falls, threatened the rodeo board with eternal damnation if a vet wasn’t on the grounds all three nights of the event.
Well and good. We get to see lots of rodeo in three nights, treat a few colics and suture a few split noggins of horses that are loaded in a trailer once a year to come to Pioneer Reunion.
After going to the Olympics in Atlanta and watching the Cross Country equine event, I was deeply impressed with the equine ambulances that were there, so you could quickly and humanely load a disabled horse and whisk him to what was certainly a first-class equine hospital.
In that spirit, I try to load my truck for any contingency at the rodeo: splint material for fractured limbs, IV fluids, euthanasia solution and more.
Well, last night the announcement on the PA, right after the grand entry began, called for the vet.
Some horse left in a trailer in the parking lot decided to attempt suicide. He had multiple deep lacerations on his head and neck, in a couple of which you could see his jugular vein and he had managed somehow to pulverize his zygomatic arch but miraculously didn't appear to damage his eye.
Fragments of bone were all about the wound just behind the eye, most of which I could remove by hand, but there were a couple that, although loose, were too slippery to extract.
Putting the horse back together in the parking lot attracted a large, beery crowd of onlookers. My call for pliers produced a large, greasy oilfield-type pair of pliers, which I used to extract the last fragments.
Next year I must remember to pack the truck with clean pliers. At least if they weren't rusty or greasy it would look better.