Last year was my first time shooting the Clovis Rodeo, but I had such a great time there and made some of my favorite pictures. Of course I was excited to go again. I arrived a couple of hours before Friday evening’s performance, and hung around the chutes catching up with some friends and making some new ones. The bucking chutes at Clovis have some interesting angles, and I spent a good bit of time trying different things.
Ryan Gray of Cheney, WA and Jason Havens of Prineville, OR prepre to ride.
Saddle bronc rider Brad Rudolf of Winnemucca, NV stretches before his ride.
Bareback riders JR Vezain of Cowley, WY, Caleb Bennett of Morgan, UT, and Josi Young of Kimberly, ID work on their gear.
Bull rider Jimmy Anderson of Denton, TX says a prayer before his ride.
Bull rider Cody Rostockyj of Hillsboro, TX and stock contractor John Growney have a word.
Another cool part of the Clovis Rodeo is the Special Kids Rodeo held just before the last performance on Sunday. Cowboys who are up that day come out to show the kids about roping, bucking and riding. It’s really inspirational, and I love shooting it.
Bobby Mote of Culver, OR at the Special Kids Rodeo.
Special Kids Rodeo
Director Chuck Rigsbee at the Special Kids Rodeo
During the saddle bronc section on Friday night, rodeo clown JJ Harrison came over and took my camera. “It’s OK,” he says. He then holds it up to the crowd and starts taunting the other photographers (who I am not allowed to mention) “My lens is bigger than yours!” This is how I get into trouble without even doing anything.
To the action…some great rides:
Saddle bronc rider Ad Bugenig of Ferndale, CA rides Rocket Man.
Bareback rider Caleb Bennett of Morgan, UT rides No Surprise.
Bareback rider Ty Fast Taypotat rides One Night Stand.
Bareback rider Wes Stevenson of Lubbock, TX rides Fringe Benefits.
Saddle bronc rider Alex Wright of Milford, UT rides Sherlock.
Bareback rider Tyler Scales of Severance, CO rides Black Legs.
Bareback rider Jason Havens of Prineville, OR rides Fringe Benefits.
Saddle bronc rider Ty Atchison of Jackson, MO rides Bravada Nights.
Bareback rider Kaycee Feild of Payson, UT rides Short Cut.
A couple of reaction pictures I liked:
Saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy of Corona, NM hits the ground after his ride.
Saddle bronc rider Brady Nicholes of Hoytsville, UT watches the replay of his ride.
On the way to Clovis I was lamenting my bad luck at Red Bluff where all of the buckoffs seemed to go away from me. I guess everything evens out, because I got more than my share this weekend:
Saddle bronc rider Max Filippini of Battle Mountain, NV gets bucked off Big Mama.
Saddle bronc rider Jess Williams of Paso Robles, CA rides Curtain Call.
Saddle bronc rider Ben Londo of Pendleton, OR gets bucked off Road Rage.
Saddle bronc rider Jeff Rianda of Tres Pinos, CA gets bucked off Flying Five's 922.
Saddle bronc rider Darin Redelsperger of Tehachapi, CA gets bucked off Lunatic Fringe.
They moved slack around this year to run Wednesday/Thursday/Friday mornings, and I couldn’t get there in time so I missed out on the nice 7am light this year. I didn’t shoot as much roping/steer wrestling as I would have liked, but I’ll get more as the season progresses.
Steer wrestler Taylor Nahrgang of Buckeye, AZ
Some barrel racing:
Barrel racer Kaley Bass of Davenport, FL
Barrel racer Brenda Mays of Terrebonne, OR
Barrel racer Christina Richman of Glendora, CA
I like a lot of things about the Clovis Rodeo, but easily the best thing about it is being able to hang over the edge of the roof and shoot directly down on the bull riding. I’m scared of heights (even the 30 feet from the roof to the dirt) but the pictures make it worthwhile because it’s so rare that I am able shoot anything from directly overhead.
Bull rider Bo Bacigalupi of Oakdale, CA rides Hell Hound.
Bull rider Rankin Lindsey of Hillsboro, NM rides Fine Line
Bull rider Rankin Lindsey of Hillsboro, NM gets bucked off Fine Line.
Bull rider Allen Helmuth of Eugene, OR gets bucked off Pop Tart.
Bull rider Corey Rickard of Nuevo, CA gets bucked off Holy Moccasin.
Bull rider Garrett Vig of Newell, SD gets bucked off Panic Attack.
Bull rider Jake Wade of Alamo, NV gets bucked off Look Out Todd.
One thing you can see very clearly when shooting bull riding from overhead is the incredible work done by the bullfighters aka the cowboy lifesavers. I can’t be sure, but I think these two psychos had a bet going on the craziest save. I’m not sure what else would explain some of their moves this weekend:
Bullfighters Eric Layton and Tim O'Connor relax before work.
Bullfighter Tim O'Connor takes one in the chest from Shady Rodeo Anno.
Bullfighter Eric Layton jumps between Hell Hound and Bo Bacigalupi.
Bullfighter Eric Layton battles Wise One Willie.
Bullfighter Tim O'Connor battles Wise One Willie.
Bullfighter Tim O'Connor battles Wise One Willie.
Bullfighter Tim O'Connor battles Pop Tart.
Bullfighter Eric Layton gets between Paul Coppini and Slingin' Wolf.
Thanks to Alfreda Sebasto and Chuck Riggsbee for the great access.