For the third year in a row, I made my way up to Red Bluff, CA for the Red Bluff Round-Up, and for the third year in a row, it was one of the best weekends of the year. A lineup heavy with National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, fantastic access thanks to the Round-Up committee, and (mostly) good weather made for four days of good shooting. So good that I had to break everything up into two posts, so this one will cover barrel racing, steer wrestling, and roping. Part 2 on the roughstock events: saddle bronc, bareback, and bull riding is here. Fellow Bay Area photographer Kelley L. Cox also shot the round up, you can see her pictures here. I always get to town early enough to shoot slack, the qualifying round that determines who gets to move on to the main performances. Unfortunately I didn't get there quite early enough, as many people were eager to inform me. Turns out that the Wednesday night barrel races turned into BIKINI BARREL RACES. To my Red Bluff people, for future reference, this is information I need to have IN ADVANCE.
Shooting slack usually provides good light because it's early in the morning, and it also allows me to get coverage of the timed events so that I don't have to shoot every single thing during the actual rodeo. Since there's no halftime at rodeos, it helps to make time to reposition, change lenses, etc.
Roper Stetson Vest is a Wrangler Jeans model, so I thought it would be fun to have him doing something no other model would do:
Steer wrestling always produces some dramatic moments:
Not sure who this is, out of the nearly 5,000 pictures I made over the 4 days, this is the only one I couldn't ID. I couldn't send this picture, but I like it, so I'm going to put it here anyway.
Eight-time all-around world champion roper Trevor Brazille finished third in tie-down.
Part 2, on roughstock, is here.