Popko second in go-round, average
Last updated 3/13/2008 at Noon
Kerry Popko placed second both in the second go-round and in the Pole Bending average (aggregate) at the California High School Rodeo Association competition February 17 at City of Industry.
Popko, whose time of 21.91 seconds placed sixth in the first go-round, had a time of 21.09 seconds during her second run to compile an average of 43.00 seconds. She ended the rodeo fifth in the season standings, although only 13 points short of second place and 39 points behind the leader.
The February rains had limited Popko’s practice with her horse, Banjo.
“I haven’t been able to ride him as much as usual,” Popko said. “I was kind of nervous how he would be.”
The first run seemed more like an exercise. “Basically that’s how we treated it,” Popko said.
Banjo also had to avoid Popko’s hat, which had fallen off. That brought Banjo closer to the pole than desired. He actually hit the pole, but a five-second penalty only applies if the pole is knocked down.
Popko stopped to keep the pole upright. “There was a lot of stalling in there,” she said.
Popko had switched to the black hat for the CHSRA rodeo at Brawley in January and had knocked down a pole, so after the Industry incident the hat was beginning to be viewed as a sign of bad luck.
“After that I ditched the black hat,” Popko said.
Popko returned to her white hat for the second run at Industry.