Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Rodeo Cohorts

One of the definitions of a cohort is a companion or associate. 
That is what the equine contestants in rodeo are to their owners--companions and associates. 
These equine personalities make rodeo such an amazing sport, and many have fascinating stories.
Today I'd like to tell you about Gills Bay Boy, better known as Scamper. Scamper accomplished what no other barrel horse has come near to doing. He and his owner, Charmayne James, won ten Women’s Pro Rodeo Association World Titles in a row between 1984 and 1993.

Charmayne and her father bought the AQHA gelding from a feedlot when he was a six year old, and she was just twelve. It was rumored that Gils Bay Boy like to buck a bit when they got him. Only two years later the pair qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. They went on to win the NFR that year along with the WPRA World Championship and the WPRA Rookie of the Year.
One of Scamper's most amazing runs came during the 1985 NFR. As they came down the alley to enter the arena, Scamper’s bridle broke. He not only ran the pattern on his own, he and Charmayne won the go-round. 

In 1986 Charmayne and Scamper won money in all ten rounds at the NFR, a feat only three other riders have accomplished.
Scamper ended up with the enviable record of ten WPRA titles, six NFR titles and ten Rodeo Houston titles, along with many other circuit finals and major rodeo championships. He carried Charmayne to more than one million of her $1,842,506 lifetime earnings. He was retired after the 1994 season and was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1996.

Because he was a gelding and could not reproduce, James made the decision to clone Scamper. The animal genetics corporation Viagen performed the cloning, and the ensuing foal, nicknamed Clayton, was born in 2006, kept a stallion, and now stands at stud.
Scamper died at the age of thirty-five on July 4, 2012 . James said he enjoyed good health to the end.

“He’s one in a million. He’s a miracle…I doubt there will ever be another horse like him.”
Charmayne James, describing Scamper, 1989

I was only fortunate enough to be able to watch Scamper run in person once, but I watched him on TV many times. As a cowgirl who's been around great barrel horses for most of her life, let me tell you, Scamper was one of a kind. 
I wrote Changing A Cowboy's Tune with another great barrel horse in mind. My friend, Kali Jo Parker, was gracious enough to let me use her great mare, Tuneful, for my inspiration. Tuneful carried Kali Jo to many rodeo and barrel race wins. You can see the real Tuneful and Kali Jo on the cover below.
Get your copy of Changing A Cowboy's Tune here on Amazon. 

Did you ever watch Charmayne and Scamper run? 
Do you have a favorite horse that is one of a kind to you?


Linda O'Connor said...

I think that it's so cool that you put the real barrel racer on your cover that inspired the story. It's a fantastic picture and a gorgeous cover!

Alia said...

Although I’ve never owned a horse, I’d have to say, Dark Warrior, my grandfather’s Appaloosa stud. Dark Warrior was a gentleman and I remember him letting us ride him around the corral (led by Grandpa). He loved apples!