Boot shining brings lost art back to rodeo

SAN ANTONIO – There are plenty of attractions at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, but one has more to do with service than show. For some of the competitors, it's an important stop on the way to their competition and a tradition for those in the rodeo.

Ryan Hill and his Santa Gertrudas Heifer are cleaning up, but before he gets in the rodeo, he takes a squat. He polishes up the little details, hoping it will help him score better in the ring.

"I thought they needed some shining to give me some good luck today with the show and everything," Hill said.

Sherri Chandler is part shining machine and part pre-jitter performance coach.

"It helps out with money with the scholarships and such," Chandler said.

The effort is part of an often forgotten tradition that Chandler and company continue at multiple rodeos.

"Caked on with stuff and mud and other surprises from the rodeo," Chandler said, talking about Ursula Pari's dirty pair of boots. But she took them on.

At the end of a 20-minute spit shine finish, the boots looked as good as new and might last until next year's rodeo.

Some of the boot shine stands are manned by folks who have made the stock show and rodeo their home for decades. For them, it's a way to bring a little bling down under and a little lost art back to the rodeo.