Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another one lost today

Bucki James passed this morning, after her secret battle with cancer. This message was posted on the fourbucki.blogspot today

At Five Thirty in the morning, on July 31,2008. Bucki James threw her leg over a horse in heaven. She has always been an early mornin' girl and always at the barn first thing. She is now happy and riding again with her Creator, Jesus Christ. No horses that she can't make into an awesome Cutter in that bunch either. Although we miss her, we are grateful that she is suffering no more, and will never have to "ride into the herd" of any storm like this again! We all have treasured this past time with her and hold her close to our hearts, as God holds Bucki close to His heart.

A recent article was on Sally Harrison's blog:

Here’s a trivia question for cutting fans. What competitor holds the NCHA Non-Pro Derby record score?

It’s Bucki James, 47, Purcell, OK, who rode her homebred gelding Rambo Merada to score 225.5 points, as champion of the 2002 NCHA Non-Pro Derby. James, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame inductee (2005), began riding cutting horses in 1992 and has been a top contender ever since.

“I love the people in cutting,” said James, who came from a racing and western pleasure background. “I love the sport. I love the teamwork involved. It’s a real wholesome event.”

This year’s NCHA Summer Spectacular and Derby, which begins on July 14 in Fort Worth, will be the first that James has missed in more than a decade. She is currently surrounded by family and friends in an Oklahoma City hospital, “weighing her options” in a struggle with cancer. Her niece, Amanda, has set up a website where well-wishers can send Bucki messages and learn about her daily progress.

“God has blessed me with wonderful horses,” James told me, after she won the 2003 NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro on Sonita Lena Chick. “That is the truth of the matter. You do have to do the work and it is hard for me. But you could put the same hard work into average horses and not be able to do it. So much of it depends on special horses.”

James won five major events with Sonita Lena Chick, including the 2003 Augusta Futurity Classic, where she also placed third on Starched Wranglers, who like Rambo Merada, was bred by James out of Merada Missy. Riding Sonita Lena Chick and the two gelded brothers, James won or placed no less than third in 21 major limited age events.

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You may ask why I post these things for people I knew only a little or not at all, and I answer is I do not know really. Maybe because the cutting community is such a strange one where the superstars are just right there at your fingertips, no matter what a little player you are, that it feels like it is happening to you when it is not really. Maybe that is the draw of NCHA stuff, it sucks you in and makes you a part of it before you even know it.

I did not know Bucki personally, but I sure knew who she was. Her name was always in the standings, and since people finally learned she was sick, the sheer number of people who say nice things about her is overwhelming. How nice for the family to know how well thought of she was.

On that note, Bill Freeman's service will be held in the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Wroth on Sunday morning. What more fitting place to say goodbye to him?


Holly said...

I think you post about them because they are a big part of an industry you are also a part of. And news is news. It's interesting to know things about others. I like to hear about other people and honestly....I like to hear about woman who are so successful in their chosen disciplines.

Anonymous said...

I think you must post cause it is kind of like the Paul Harvey "Rest of the Story" and is a part of your life that is important.

While not personally knowing all these people-------it brings knowledge and interest in common ground.

Similiar to the Olympic athletes, and other "good" sports figures.

Enjoy Carol

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