It's not the biggest rodeo, or the one that attracts the most top cowboys, but the Marysville Stampede has something that none of the other rodeos I shoot have: great light. Rodeos (and sporting events in general) usually start at 1pm when the light is directly overhead or at night where you're totally at the mercy of the quality of artificial lighting the arena has. The Marysville Stampede starts at 5:30 which means that you're shooting in golden, directional light the whole time.
The men behind the legendary Flying U Rodeo Company. The King of the Cowboys, Cotton Rosser...
...and the Prince of the Cowboys (can we make that stick please) Reno Rosser:
Kids are a big part of the Marysville Stampede, from the mechanical bull...
...to the Silver Dollar Scramble...
...to, of course, mutton bustin':
The Marysville Stampede also features team bronc riding which consists of three guys putting a saddle on an unbroken (wild) horse and riding it past the finish line. I knew that one of my Facebook friends would be competing, so I set up behind the chutes to make sure I got a few pictures. Some horses are (much) bigger than others, so they draw to determine which team gets which horse:
Then they wait for the whistle:
And then the carnage:
Some timed event action:
I've honestly never seen so many steer wrestlers miss their steer and wreck:
A dearth of entries caused the bareback section to be scratched, but there was a lot of action in saddle bronc riding:
Can't beat beams of sunlight cutting through the dust:
Wes Jones' swan dive:
The barrel racing takes place when the sun is just clearing the arena, and the light is just awesome:
Local high school senior Tyler Stueve won Saturday's bull riding:
My friend Dominic Benedet, coming off of a shoulder injury, looked great until his bull decided to use the fence to scrape Dom off:
The sound of Dom's head bouncing off of the fence was unpleasant:
This bull rammed the barrel with the clown inside. Rough ride:
Josh Daries' bull fell down, so he went over to the official to discuss a re-ride:
Tough Enough to Wear Pink (Chaps) Day:
After the bull riding, Reno Rosser's discovery, the Flying U FMX riders performed. On Sunday, delays forced them to jump in almost darkness. Risky for them, but dramatic for pictures:
Thanks to the Flying U Rodeo Company (Cotton, Reno, and Barbara) for great access once again. While I was in Marysville, I picked up a copy of Rodeo Magazine with my picture on the cover: