Rodeo Comes to Town

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A fun action shot to start off this post.  Cowboy dude is getting ready to launch himself onto the young calf in the midst of the chase….

My girlfriend asked me to join her at the fairgrounds a couple of weekends ago, as a travelling rodeo show was coming through town.  She had never attended such a show, and I only had vague memories of attending a rodeo, when I was under 10 years old, so it’d be almost like a new experience for me.  I am generally not in support of entertainment shows that exploit animals, but she didn’t want to go alone, and I thought there might be something still interesting to see..

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One of the more enjoyable events was the ladies’ barrel races, where each competitor had to ride her horse from one barrel to the next (a total of three) in a triangular formation and making sure to circle completely around each barrel.  I captured three different ladies coming around the barrel closest to us…..great to see the energy, power, and focus of the horses with their riders.

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Here’s a guy just practicing a bit before the “lasso the calf” event got underway…..I caught him in mid-lasso!

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This young lady impressed me out of all the lady competitors participating in the “lasso the calf” event, because she exuded the most calmness, smoothness, relaxed throwing style of them all.  It was as if her lasso just glided through the air and gently landed around the calf whereupon the rider just easily pulled back at the rope to complete the lasso capture.  That whole sequence was beautiful to watch.  I guess like most things, those who are masterfully skilled in whatever they do make it look good.

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Breaktime!  Hahaha!  Lots of seagull activity at the fairgrounds…..probably due also to the food vendors who were selling fries and burgers and other munchables.

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I took this one, because it looked kinda cool how the riders were all lining up in ready positions for the next event…..with the…..well, those bucking bulls!  There were rodeo clowns in the ring and extra riders in order to create distractions for whenever each bull would “unburden” itself of its rider and then needed to be corralled back to the pen area.

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Here’s another one of those helpful distracting riders, and what struck me about him was the “silvery” shimmer of his horse’s coat.  it so intrigued me that I made a point of asking a facebook friend who raises and breeds horses out in the prairies of Canada to ask her about this particular sheen.  She happened to post a photo of one of her horses that has the same kind of shimmery colour.  Kindly she added to my rather limited horse knowledge by telling me that this colour is referred to as “dun.”  I had never heard that before.

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Here are some photos that I could get of one of the bulls, when he came really close to our end of the arena – with most of the activity happening at the other end.  In the first he is looking away, and you can see a good length of him.

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There’s more of his face visible in the other two.  Yes, this fella had been working hard.  And he wasn’t in any hurry to get corralled to be escorted back to the holding pen.  He was having a look around.

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At the end of the rodeo show, a good many of the horses were freed of their tack and allowed to run around the arena  for a few minutes.  That part was fun to watch….how horses naturally group themselves into a herd and move around as a flowing entity.

Both my girlfriend and I moseyed around for a while when the show was done, as it had turned into a warm starry evening, and we both left with the feeling of having learned something in the nature of rodeo shows.

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