2013 Oakdale Rodeo

As I got to the Oakdale Saddle Club for slack on Thursday morning, I said on Twitter that all sporting events should start at 8am or earlier. Yeah, I'm a morning person, but all sports should be shot in this kind of light: 2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Luke Branquinho

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Blaine William Jones

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Trevor Knowles

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Stan Branco

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - P.K. Kennedy

Even as the great light gave way to the harsher stuff, there were still some chances for backlit action:

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Tyson Durfey

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Rhen Richard

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Trevor Brazile

Not a lot of good locations to shoot barrel racing, but I did get a couple of pictures:

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Danna Stovner

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Syd Wheeler

The behind-the-chutes area at Oakdale is very cramped, so I didn't do much in the way of preparation shots, but I was quite happy with this one of my friend Cesar:

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Cesar "Kid" Banuelos

8am slack is nice, only a 2 hour drive is nice, but the real highlight of shooting Oakdale is the shooting position that looks directly across the bucking chutes. This is really rare in rodeo, and while there is a high risk/reward curve, it provides opportunities for pictures you can't get elsewhere. So while the hacks do what they do at every other rodeo, making the same pictures they have for 20 years (shooting straight on), I spend most of my time at Oakdale getting as close as I could on a different angle:

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Keith Roquemore

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Keith Roquemore

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Seth Hardwick

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - R.C. Landingham

You always have to be prepared, but sometimes you need a little luck as well. On this ride, Short Bar came right at the fence where I was shooting, and I had to bail out quickly. This was the last shot before I bailed, the focus point moved from Tyler Nelson to Short Bar's face, giving me one of my favorite pictures ever.

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Tyler Nelson

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Cody Whitney

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Trevor Kastner

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Aaron Hargo

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Steve Woolsey

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Ben Miles

I did shoot one set of saddle broncs from across the arena and got Jesse Wright's winning ride on Flood Damage. Jesse managed an 87 point ride despite knocking his head on the bar above the chutes as Flood Damage reared up at the start of the ride.

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Jesse Wright

My wife joined me at the rodeo, and instantly fell in love with this colt, Flying U #317, who was there to take a lap around the arena as part of Flying U's Born to Buck program. More on #317 in my Red Bluff Round-Up post.

2013 Oakdale Rodeo - Flying U #317 U-Gene

My picture of Coleman Proctor at Oakdale in the June issue of Spin to Win:

Spin to Win Rodeo - June 2013 - Coleman Proctor - High Call