2012 Mother Lode Round-Up

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Howdy Podner The Mother Lode Round-Up was one of the first few rodeos to grant me access, so I'm always happy to make the trip to the beautiful Gold Country to shoot their rodeo. This was my third trip to Sonora, CA, and it was a great time yet again.

While Red Bluff does the team bronc riding on the track making it hard to get pictures from anywhere safe, the Mother Lode does it in the arena:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Team Bronc Riding

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Team Bronc Riding

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Team Bronc Riding

They also have the Calf Scramble where contestants have to tie a ribbon on a calf's tail. It's much harder than you'd think. This series shows just how hard:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Calf Scramble

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Calf Scramble

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Calf Scramble

And of course, mutton bustin':

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Mutton Bustin'

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Mutton Bustin'

To the official part of the rodeo:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - John Clymo

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Gary Kuhn

It was good to see my good friend Billy Bugenig take home another buckle & check for steer wrestling:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Billy Bugenig

I had never seen a left-handed roper before, and it was crazy to see Garrett Roen dismount on the "wrong" side and run under his rope:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Garrett Roen

More conventional roping:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - K.C. Miller

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Dan Williams Jr

The Mother Lode Round-Up is also great for shooting barrel racing. The light is perfect, and one of the barrels is just a few yards from the fence:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Christy Loflin

The roughstock action was especially rough this year:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Grant Denny

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Cody Higgins

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - R.C. Landingham

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Brady Nicholes

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Johnny Allen

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Brady Williams

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Tag Elliott

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Tag Elliott

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - A.J. Hamre

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - A.J. Hamre

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Corey Olsen

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Wace Holmes

Bryce Brown scored an impressive 84 which held up for third place, but it didn't prevent him from having to run away very fast from Fine Line:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Bryce Brown

I recognized two riders from the practice sessions I shot at B-Bar. Tyler Stueve came very close to covering Cowboy Caviar, a bull that has bucked off his share of NFR cowboys:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Tyler Stueve

And 38-year-old Chance Hannum won the whole thing with an awesome 87 on Smoke Signal:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Chance Hannum

The bullfighters once again put on a clinic. Eric Layton came out of nowhere to jump in to save Jed Jones, but injured his knee and unfortunately missed the rest of the rodeo:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Eric Layton

Bull rider Josh Daries put on a vest and filled in ably for Layton, here teaming up with Rick Moffatt to battle Mr Saturday Night...

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Josh Daries & Rick Moffatt

...who continued after Moffatt, knocking his shades right off his head:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Rick Moffatt

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Rick Moffatt

I don't generally shoot the specialty acts, but Bert Davis the Coppertown Clown and his Mutley Crew is a pretty special specialty act. Davis takes rescue dogs and trains them to jump through hoops and more. Note to my committee/staff friends: this is a must see and must book act:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Bert Davis

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Bert Davis & The Mutley Crew

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Bert Davis & The Mutley Crew

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Bert Davis & The Mutley Crew

Thanks to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse for another great rodeo, and for letting me do my thing.

An early clip from Sports Illustrated's Photos of the Day:

2012 Mother Lode Round-Up - Sports Illustrated Photo of the Day