Despite broken barrier, VanderLans fifth in Lakeside bulldogging average


Last updated 6/5/2008 at Noon

Jack VanderLans incurred a ten-second penalty for a broken barrier at the Lakeside Rodeo and still finished fifth in the Steer Wrestling average for the April 25-27 rodeo.

The 2001 Fallbrook High School graduate had a time of 21.8 seconds on two head, including the ten-second penalty, to earn a fifth-place average payout of $222.05.

“Usually in rodeoing when you hit the barrier your chances of winning anything in the average are really slim,” VanderLans said. “I got kind of lucky. I didn’t think I was going to win anything in the average with hitting that barrier, but I stayed in it.”

Stan Branco won the average with a two-head time of 10.0 seconds. VanderLans and Branco both used Mo as their steer wrestling horse. “I was running a pretty nice horse,” VanderLans said.

Branco, who lives in Chowchilla, was also VanderLans’ hazer. VanderLans has been traveling with Branco and Zach Zamrzla, and the sharing of horses allows cowboys to use a single truck and a single horse trailer as gas prices increase travel costs. “People are really making a big effort to travel with each other and make sure they’re maximizing the space in their truck and their trailer,” VanderLans said.

The increased travel costs also have VanderLans looking for a sponsor. “My next goal is to try to get the people involved in possibly sponsoring me,” said VanderLans.

VanderLans made his first run in the April 24 slack. “I took the start I planned to take,” VanderLans said. “It was just extremely close.”

The barrier string will break if the cowboy leaves the gate before his steer. “It’s just a piece of cotton string that separates you,” VanderLans said. “Sometimes you get a little too close and break it.”

Cowboys prefer to take the risk than to stay back and risk losing the alignment with the bovine. “You’re trying to push the envelope,” VanderLans said.

The ten-second penalty in the first go-round gave VanderLans a time of 16.0 seconds. His time in the first go-round left him to focus on a go-round payout for his second run, and he took the same risk of a broken barrier if not a greater one during the April 27 performance. “In my mind I didn’t think there was a chance for me to win an average check, so I was probably more aggressive on the start,” he said.

VanderLans had drawn a Honeycutt Rodeo steer for his April 27 run, and VanderLans knew enough about the steer that the risk of letting it get out in front outweighed the risk of a broken barrier. “The steer I drew, he ran pretty fast, and from the research I kind of gathered he was a strong steer,” VanderLans said.

VanderLans posted a time of 5.8 seconds for the go-round. “I think it was a competitive time on the steer I drew,” he said. “I did about all I could, so I was pleased. Any time I can throw down a steer and I’m not making mistakes, I consider that productive.”

The time didn’t earn a go-round payout but contributed to the average.

The proximity of Lakeside to Fallbrook and Temecula allowed VanderLans’ parents and friends to be in attendance. “That was pretty uplifting,” VanderLans said.


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