Greeley Stampede Press release

For those of you interested in attending The Greeley Stampede or are interested in information about the Rodeo in general we are attaching this Press Release from Andy Segal, Media and Communications manager for the Greeley Stampede.

NEWS RELEASE

 

For Immediate Release

Andy Segal

Media and Communications Manager

Greeley Stampede

970-356-7787

 

 

STAMPEDE ON!

 

June 29, 2015 (GREELEY, CO) In the fifth day of the 93rd Annual Greeley Stampede the rodeo and the free stage took center stage.

With over 5,000 in attendance during the second rodeo performance the leader boards saw some changes with Carley Richardson edging out Fallon Taylor by .22 seconds in Barrel Racing and  Bowyn James Allemand out scoring Brock Russell by 2 points to take the lead in Bull Riding. See attached document for the current standings.

After the Rodeo as the WPRA Barrel Racing Slack got under way Clare Dunn rocked out the Big Country Free Stage after a day of great entertainment on the Free Stage.

Tuesday is Meadow Gold Carnival Promotion night at the Stampede starting at 4:00 pm. Bring in an empty Meadow Gold or Viva Milk product container to get $5 off an unlimited ride wristband.  ($30 without container). Not Valid after 10:00 pm.

For the 3rd performance of the rodeo it’s First Responders Night sponsored by Colorado Access. First Responders: wear uniform, show ID or provide other documentation verifying First Responders status to receive complimentary access to the north grandstands.

Only three regular rodeo performances left, buy your tickets to the rodeo, concerts, demo derby or get your carnival passes by calling 970-356-7787, visit any Northern Colorado King Soopers location, Ticketswest.com, Ticketswest by phone 866-464-2626 or at Greeleystampede.org.  The Stampede Ticket Office is open 9:00 am – 10:00 pm daily during the event.

Andy Segal

Media & Communications Manager

Greeley Stampede

970-356-7787

GreeleyStampede.org

The 2015 Greeley Stampede June 25th – July 5th!

 

 

Cowboys At Work Team Roping

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!

TeamRoping6032click to enlarge

Team Roping, this is a rodeo event based on real life cowboy work, as are all the events in the rodeo except maybe bull riding. That event is just something cowboys thought up for fun, something to do on a Friday night instead of going to the Punch Up, a shot and a beer and a fist fight establishment out on the county line.

Team roping was particularly important as it was the way cowboys completed the arduous task of handling calves during spring round-up so they could be collected, branded and other necessary activities performed on them. Calves being calves they had some idea of what that all entailed so they would do their best to avoid participating and run away. Especially the little bull calves. Cowboys having to get all this work accomplished had to come up with a way to capture the calf so it could be processed. That’s where team roping came in.

Cowboys on their horses would be hanging around the outside of the herd as it milled around inside the corral and when they saw a calf making a break for it, ride after it to catch it. Two cowboys usually worked together to do this. One cowboy, called a header, would rope the runaway calf or young steer around his horns, and the other cowboy called a heeler, would rope the calves hind feet. The calf unable to run would be secured by the two horses carefully backing up, until the calf was in the position it needed to be for the branding team to run up and tip the calf on its side, so the branding could take place. This was also the time that other necessary things would happen, inoculations, horn trimming if necessary, a short brief instruction session on how to be a proper productive member of the herd, normally delivered by one of the older cowboys, and the calf would be released back to the care of its mother or other proper guardian.

Today things are stilled handled pretty much the way they were 100 years ago. The cows and calves are rounded up, herded into a corral where the cowboys have built a small fire to heat up the branding irons and they go to work. It worked good back then and it still works good today. But we’ve heard that changes may be on the way.

It’s the middle of the second decade of the twenty-first century and some things have changed from the 1800’s. We have iPads now, and cell phones, freeze-dried potatoes that you can just mix with hot water and have for lunch right there at the corral, and that and other digital stuff, changed everything. The word on the range is that soon drones will be flying in with their calf-seeking radar, picking up these calves, hauling them to an area where they are marked with organic recycled ink in place of the old style brand, be subcutaneously inoculated with growth hormones that will double the calves weight every 96 hours, make them mellow and not mean, and lastly, be injected with a personalized  “chip” that will give its location, weight gain over the past 96 hours, its current mood and disposition, whether it is currently being rustled, and provide it with all the necessary information it needs to be a calf in the 21st century.

Now we don’t know if any of that is true or not, it’s just some of the stuff cowboys talk about around the campfire at supper. It makes the time go by and the beans taste better. We do know that the Amalgamated Brotherhood of International Cowboys, (ABIC) the union most cowboys belong to, are definitely against it. We’ll just have to wait and see how all this plays out. For now though it’s business as usual out on the range and the team ropers have their work cut out for them and they’re hard at it.

If you want to see how real cowboys do their work then come down to the rodeo, and the Greeley Stampede is a good one to come to, and watch Team Roping. It’s very cool.

Back To The Classics

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!

SaddleBronc4790

 

Saddle bronc riding. This is the event that started rodeos.  Back in the old days which is anything before 1950, before Volkswagen Jetta’s and Prius’, the only way a cowboy could get to work was to either, A: Walk, or B: Ride a horse. ‘A’ was simply not an option as cowboys don’t walk. They can’t. They wear special footwear called Cowboy boots with a tall heel that make it almost physically impossible to walk more than 50′ before they fall down on the ground grabbing their legs yelling “OMG, I can’t walk! My legs! My legs!. Somebody help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” That’s where option ‘B’ comes in. Ride a horse.

Back then that was problematic because horses didn’t like to be ridden. They still don’t for the most part. Ask any horse that’s been out on grass for a month or two if it would really like to ridden and they will almost always answer “No, thanks, I’m good.” You can’t blame them really, it’s hot out usually, and where you got to go to work is way out there in the toolies where Haysoose lost his Ray-Bans, the saddle blanket is itchy, the saddle is heavy, not counting the cowboy that wants to sit on it, they stick a big old metal bit in your mouth so they can yank you all over the place, they want you to run around chasing after things, you got to work everyday, all day, with never a day off, so the horse usually just said “No” when asked to cooperate.

Cowboys hate to hear “No” so right away there was a problem. Faced with having to walk, and the resulting rolling around on the ground yelling and the embarrassment and all, they decided that they were going to convince the horse to help out, to do its part willingly. And there it was, the birth of the rodeo event, Saddle bronc riding.

You can see everything there is to know about Saddle bronc riding by looking at the image above. They put a saddle on the horse, no small feat in itself when the horse doesn’t want you to, they climb on and they ask the horse politely to cooperate. The horse usually declines and the resulting melee is what you see here. Sometimes the cowboy convinces the horse, other times the horse convinces the cowboy that he should ask another horse. Eventually though a compromise is reached.

This entire learning to cooperate with each other was so entertaining to bystanders, especially those who didn’t have to convince the horse it should be ridden, that soon cowboys and the spectators were getting together on a Sunday afternoon and doing this whole process for fun. The enjoyment spread and soon cowboy and horse were doing this all over the place. Out in the corrals, inside barns so they could get out of the sun, traveling around to different cities where some folks would pay money to see the process at work. They named these events rodeos and the rest is history. It became hugely successful and drew folks from every walk of life to watch Saddle bronc riding and other western activities, drink beer from paper cups, tell each other that they could do that if they had to, and watch cowgirls in tight jeans walk around the grandstands.

Now some of these cowboys and their horses don’t even do a job of work any more. They just drive from rodeo to rodeo in great big dually trucks pulling a 3 axle horse trailer behind them winning huge amounts of cash money for staying on their respective horses for 8 seconds. It ‘s become big business with all the resulting industries, like tight western jeans makers, silver belt buckle construction, cowboy boot makers, sno-cone machine builders, beer brewers, horse whisperers, cowboy whisperers, judges who never make mistakes like football referees do, great big humongous Jumbotron TV screen builders to see instant replays and scores, the list is endless.

Yeah the bull riding is exciting and all the other events show you the skills cowboys need to get their work done but at the heart of it all is the classic event, the one that made all this hoopla possible, Saddle Bronc riding. If you get a chance go see it at a rodeo near you. It’s worth the price of a ticket.

American Bullfighting

AmericanBullfighting3936

 

I’m sure most of you, if not all of you, have been to Seville or Barcelona for the bullfights. Many of you have been to Pamplona to run with the bulls, at least that’s what you tell us when we do our annual poll on “What I Did With My Summer”. But very few of you tell us I was a contestant in American Bullfighting.

The cowboy in the shot above was a contestant and right about now he wishes he were sitting in the stands of La Maestranza in Seville watching some guy in fancy red pants swirl a cape around to confuse the bull. That cape and those short sticks with steel barbs to stick in the bull to make it madder are some of the main differences between Spanish bullfighting and American bullfighting.

The first difference is our bulls are mad enough already, you don’t want them any madder if you can help it. Remember this is their payback time and they remember that these same cowboys were the ones trying to ride them just a short while ago. If they get the chance to stick it to them they’re going to make the best of it.

Secondly, we don’t use capes or have some other guy on a horse stick big old gaffing hooks into the bull to make it mad and lower its blood count so it’s easier to manage. In  American bullfighting it is the cowboy against the bull with no capes, no sticky pointy things to irritate the bull, just the cowboy with his speed, dexterity and wits against the bull with its 900 lbs. of muscle and long curved horns and owl-ly attitude.

Thirdly, and this is the best part, there’s no dead bull at the end of the fight to drag out of the arena and usually no dead cowboy either. They both get to kiss and make up and do it again when the cowboy feels better. Also our cowboys are grateful that they don’t have to wear those really tight pants and short little jackets with spangles all over them and that hat with the bulbs over their ears that are supposed to look like horns. I mean they’re really glad.

So what’s the point then, some of the more blood-thirsty among you may ask. The point is, this is a cowboy going  into this contest to try and make as much contact with the bull as possible by getting close to it, grabbing its horns, sometimes leaping over the bull as it charges him, all the time trying very hard to avoid the horns of the bull. These horns, which have had the points filed down so there is less trauma to the cowboy and to prevent the bull from having nightmares and bad feelings from having perforated the cowboy, are still deadly appendages to deal with. If you think that this lessens the bulls ability to provide pain and suffering to the cowboy think again. Imagine getting stuck by something about an inch in diameter that is being pushed very forcefully into your nether regions by a 900 lb. animal that doesn’t like you and that wants to do that sticking and pushing as many times as it can, with the cowboy of course, trying to avoid this and you get a small idea of how dangerous this whole deal is.

That’s American bullfighting. A man with his wits and courage trying to outwit a huge angry animal with its muscle and horns. The match is much more good-natured than its Spanish counter part and both contestants leave the arena with the feeling they’ve done their best. The best cowboy goes home with a beautiful silver belt buckle and hopefully some money, and the best bull gets bragging rights back in the bullpen. That’s a lot better than getting dragged out of the arena behind a horse with your ear cut off. For either contestant.

 

So Much Havoc So Little Time

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!

_DSC1903-Edit

 

How many times have you heard someone say “Give me a second, willya.” A second more wouldn’t have helped this situation. What you see here is chaos, not organized chaos but the good old fashioned kind where nobody has a clue what’s going to happen.

This is a sport in the rodeo world called extreme bulls and the object is to get on the back of one of these behemoths and stay there for 8 seconds. It is a lot like regular bull riding you see in an average rodeo except the bulls are a lot meaner. Everything you see happening here, and there is a lot happening, all took place in under 2 seconds as you can see by the scoreboard clock in the background. This is like  watching a slow motion explosion.

The bull whose nickname is “Sweetness and Light” dislodged its rider who had the good grace to land in a more dignified position than most do, the rodeo clown who thought it might help to grab Sweetness’s horn and drag him away from the scene, the barrel guy who didn’t even have time to duck down in his barrel, and the steady concentration of everyone else wearing a hat shows that things happen quick when you decide to ride a bull.

This ended up a pretty good night, no serious injuries for either bull or man, everyone got their full share of exercise, and just like in the movies no one lost their hat. I’ll be shooting these events all week long and will try and keep you informed right up to the last minute. Stay tuned.

On A Rock

OnARock                                                             click to enlarge

 

Build your house upon a rock. The Anasazi took that advice to heart. Their buildings in Mesa Verde are still standing in nearly livable condition after seven, eight  hundred years. Well, not all of them of course. The ones built before they brought in zoning and building codes sometimes just fall down, but that doesn’t change the soundness of the advice.

People look at a scene like this and say “Where’s the rest of it? Where’s the rest of the building?” They fail to see the genius behind the Anasazi’s plan. This was never supposed to be a completed building. This is a stage prop. The Anasazi were incredible actors. They not only acted, they wrote their own plays, built backdrops, put on shows that would rival anything on Broadway today. It was why all the trails led to Mesa Verde, it was the Great White Way of its time.

There have only been fragments found of the marquees that trumpeted some of their greatest productions, such as dramas, like

Bringing In The Maize

Romeo and Juliet

My Metate, My Mano

and Mysteries such as,

Who Hit Lenny With a Stone

My Acorns Are Missing

The Case Of The Half Eaten Dog

or light-hearted comedies which were exceptionally popular, such as

The Encyclopedia Salesman And The Farmers Daughter

You Wanna See My Pestle

Don’t Do That Again, You’ll Get A Hernia

The comedies may seem a little coarse and unsophisticated by today’s standards, but remember these early people were living in a rock apartment building with no central heating or AC, kind of like they do in Detroit and parts of New York city. They needed some diversion.

The next time you’re visiting some ancient culture’s living conditions and you wonder “How come they did that?” or think “Jeez, I’d a never done that.” remember these folks were different than you. They were shorter. They pretty much only ate corn and the occasional dog. They got bored easy. They couldn’t just run over To Wal-Mart and get stuff, there was no Wal-Mart. Try and figure out the reason they did weird stuff. You may find out they weren’t so goofy after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shuffles Lipinski

JustARunnin5848

A conversation with Shuffles. Last weekend while on an ill-fated whirlwind trip to Yellowstone National Park to photograph some Peregrine Falcon chicks that were due to hatch and be photogenic, the visit sadly ended in frustration due to an unknown event that resulted in the parents abandoning the nest and the eggs within. We haven’t discovered what the event was yet but it resulted in one lone egg being left exposed in the nest. Since this changed our plans we decided to look up an old friend. We had a few moments to talk with Shuffles Lipinski a local resident of Grand Teton National Park.

If you enter Yellowstone from the south you have  to go through Grand Teton National Park to get there. Sometimes the Grand Tetons seems like the cross-eyed step child of Yellowstone, as it feels kind of like a door mat as tourists rush through to get to its older sister up north. It’s not though. They have plenty to offer in the way of scenery, such as big mountains that resemble a woman’s bosoms, and wildlife galore. There are Moose and Mulies, Elk and Canada Geese, Pelicans and bears. Plenty of bears. Like our friend pictured above. This is Shuffles Lipinski, a cinnamon colored black bear that can be seen on any given day hanging around where tourists can see him. Even though we were in a terrible hurry at the time to get up into Yellowstone to check the Peregrine nest we took a few moments to have a conversation with Shuffles. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

So Shuffles, Whatcha doing?

Just a runnin’ and a grinnin’.

What for?

I need to get up there where that tour bus is unloading them tourists.

We didn’t think you liked tourists.

I don’t. Hate ’em actually. But if I get up there and run around some and grin at them I’ll get points.

What do you mean you’ll get points?

Points. You get enough points and you get transferred up North. Get to play in the big show. Make a name for yourself. Get chicks. Free drinks at the club. Maybe a piece of the T-shirt business.

Really. Do all the bears want to do this ? Maybe that’s why we never see as many bears down here as we do up in Yellowstone.

Yup. You also get a number up there. Down here they still call you by your name. Up there if you’re cool you get a number. I want a number.

Note to readers: Yellowstone National Park is very proud, perhaps overly so, that they depersonalize their animals by giving them a number instead of a name, like Peaches, or “Kor, god of the fang”. That way they think people will get less attached to them, and not care when they get killed or worse, have to wear those tracking collars all the time. For instance if you ask a ranger or one of the bear guards they assign to each bear something like “Hey where’s Rosie? I haven’t seen her and the cubs lately.” they will give you a disgusted look and sternly but condescendingly, tell you “We don’t name our animals here in Yellowstone National Park, bear # 509 will be out shortly. You can wait over there behind that white line.” (‘you dumbass visitor’, being understood. We’re watching you now. Don’t make me talk to you again.) Returning to the interview.

So what’s wrong with your name? We like Shuffles, makes you more human and lovable, approachable even.

Yeah right. You approach me, I bite you. I get sent to the big house and get a tag stuck in my ear and then one in my other ear when I bite you again, and then its lights out bwana on the third time. You get the big sleep. No, I want the number. You get a number like 812 or something and people don’t know what to expect. You could be dangerous, you could be a stone cold killer just waiting for some bus rider to get close enough to take a selfie, people don’t know. You have a name like Horace or Shuffles, you don’t get the respect. Gotta have the respect, that ‘s what brings in the big bucks from people wanting to see the ‘bad’ bear. That’s what ups the T-shirt revenue, know what I mean?

Ok, got it. Listen we got to run. Got Peregrines and their chicks to shoot. Been a slice. Catch you later Shuffles.

Cool dude, listen, do me one, when you get up North tell the bear guys I growled at you and looked threatening. I gotta get out of here. I’m dying down here. Don’t tell ’em I bit anybody or anything just that I looked bad. Ok? Later brother. I owe you one.