This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!
The rodeo at the Crow Fair is much like any other rodeo but for some reason it felt like a lot more fun. When it started I didn’t realize it was going to go on for nearly 7 hours but it did. Had I known that I might have thought this isn’t going to be as much fun as I thought, but it was. This rodeo, although professional in every respect, seemed more like a bunch of people you know getting together and having fun doing extraordinary things. The talent was top-notch. The rodeo stock was great, and even though it was in the high 90’s that afternoon everyone was in the best spirits and ready for a good time.
I’ve chosen a few pictures from each event to show you. That was because I took nearly a thousand images of this rodeo. I know that interested as you are, your eyes would soon begin to glaze over and there’d you go, back-asswards right out of your chair. So in the interest of safety I’ve pared it down considerably. As always click on any image to see it larger. Enjoy
Opening Ceremonies Presenting the flag
2014 Rodeo Queen presenting the flag at the opening ceremonies.
Bareback Bronc Riding
You get a strap to hang onto and permission from the horse to enter the arena.
The horse is often particular about who rides it.
Here the horse is celebrating. Horse 1 cowboy 0.
Probably the most popular event at the rodeo. Chaos reigns as riders run to mount their horses and take off for the first lap.
First on first out.
Horse holders waiting for their team rider to arrive and switch horses.
The winner by a hat. Crowd goes wild. Losers vow it’ll be different next year.
Perfect cast. Calf is about to be caught, thrown, tied and released. Rider takes home a paycheck.
Saddle Bronc Riding
This is very much like bareback bronc riding except there is a saddle involved. A lot more cowboys rode their horses to the buzzer than the bareback bronc guys did. They seemed to look better doing it too.
Many of the horses have developed their own style of bucking. Raise your tail high but keep your front feet on the ground. The horse got more points for style than the rider did.
Sometimes horses decide to say “Hell no, I won’t go.” This one eventually did. And then threw that guy right in the dirt.
This is the Catch and Release program used throughout the rodeo. This is done so that the horse can be caught and used again. It is illegal not to use Catch and Release in most rodeos. These animals are too expensive not to recycle them.
This is what makes the horses buck. It’s called a bucking strap. It is not used on the cowboys. This is used because these horses are so gentle and docile at all times they wouldn’t buck if you paid them. That is why they have names like HellBitch, JaneFonda, ManKiller, and Ed. You can see it in use in the pictures above.
This is the big mans sport. The cowboy has to be roughly the size of the steer to compete. There is a sign near the gate that has a steer painted on it and the cowboy must be able to cover most of the steer with his body or they won’t let him use a horse. In fact they won’t let him complete. He is told to go spend some time at McD’s and then comeback.
Here the cowboy is convincing the steer to lie down awhile. This is very much like MMA cage fighting but with no hitting.
This sport is one of constant innovation and many new experimental techniques are tried out. This is one is called “one-handed steer wrestling”. It didn’t work.
This is a cool event. Pretty girls, pretty horses, custom-made barrels, and plenty of speed.
Bull Riding and Separation Anxiety, first Successful Bull Riding
Bull riding is one of the more relaxing events at the rodeo. They match up gentle cowboys and friendly bulls with good dispositions and get them to ride each other. The best and most desired outcome is the cowboy riding the bull for 8 seconds, then thanking him for the experience and carefully dismounting. If he is unsuccessful the bull gets to try and ride him for 8 seconds. Hopefully both participants enjoyed the experience equally. Above is the proper way to ride a bull.
The excitement begins as soon as the other cowboys, who don’t have to ride a bull today, gleefully pull open the chute door..
Always careful of their image, this bull takes a moment to ask the cowboy in the blue shirt how he’s doing.
This is another pair that have worked out the problems of the next 8 seconds. The bull gets to kick his feet in the dirt a lot and the cowboy doesn’t call him names. It’s a win-win situation for both of them. The cowboy is wearing a helmet because the last time he rode this bull they hadn’t spent any bonding time together and the bull threw him through the chute door.
Then we sometimes have periods of Separation Anxiety
Unfortunately there is a darkside to this sport that isn’t talked about very much but needs to be brought out into the light. Occasionally the pairing is not done carefully enough and there are personality conflicts that are brought into play. The cowboy is out of sorts, or feeling a little insecure, and treats the bull with a certain amount of disrespect and things happen. Many of these cowboys also suffer from Separation Anxiety. This is a condition where the cowboy does not want to be separated from the bull before the 8 seconds are up. The bull realizes this and attempts to drive the cowboy into the dirt, then stomp on him. Sometimes he’ll smack the cowboy a good one with his horns. I don’t know why they just can’t get along.
Case in point. This cowboy, due to his nervousness, said something uncomplimentary about the bulls mother and, well, you can see the result.
I don’t know what happened here. This is just a disagreement they had that neither one will talk about.
I do know what happened here. The bull absolutely hates, I mean hates, the color green. He has asked this cowboy numerous times to please not wear those green chaps. He did, and you can see the result.
This is just a shame. Just a moment before the 8 second buzzer went off an argument blew up out of nowhere and this is the result. I know they’re both sick about it but that’s why you should think before you say something you’ll regret.
Then a short tutorial on how to safely dismount a bull.
Many times for one reason or another a cowboy just wants off the bull. Maybe he feels like he’s been on long enough, maybe he forgot a Dr.’s appointment, or he left the iron on in the trailer. Regardless, he wants off. But how to do this safely. Here’s a short lesson on how to get off a bull without the bull being able to break your legs and/or pelvis.
In the image before this one you see the cowboy deciding enough is enough and committing to getting off. In the image immediately above you see him choosing the classic “I’m going off the Ass-end” maneuver.
It gets a little tricky here because the bull is starting to realize what’s going on. This isn’t his first rodeo.
This is this cowboys favorite getting off position and he knows exactly how to perform it. He is well into his dismount position and is just taking a little time to reflect on the past 6 or 7 seconds.
And there you have it. He’s off. The bull is cheesed off because there was no bone breakage and the cowboy gets to walk away unscathed. Classic.
That’s the rodeo. I hope you had as much fun as the cowboys and the stock and the photographer. I know I did. After nearly seven hours of standing out in the hot sun, I for one am ready for something cool. Lets go get something to drink and maybe a steak.