Denver is well known and loved for many different reasons and I suppose it really depends on who you ask as to what activity or event folks say is their favorite. If you happen to ask a farmer or rancher, my guess is that they will most likely choose The National Western Stock Show. Every January, the Stock Show comes to Denver bringing in its wake 16 days of Wild West Shows, rodeos, goat roping, dancing horses, super dogs, Llama and Alpaca sheering, 4-H livestock judging, Cowboy mounted shooting, fiddling contests, wood carving contests, quarter and paint horse shows, a tradeshow, a whole slew of exhibitors and contestants, there’s even pedal tractor and stick pony races for the kids.
This year, because of my photo project, I knew I wanted to get down to the show and I chose today to visit the National Western Complex (I hadn’t been since junior high). This is a really big event for Denver and getting there, parked and into the complex was a breeze. Once in, I slowly wandered around the grounds taking in the wide array of people and events happening around me. Everywhere you looked was something interesting to see and everywhere you walked it smelled like delicious BBQ and sweet treats intermingled with the smell that accompanies farm animals and for me it was an appetite suppressant, but there were lots of folks eating lots of yummy looking eats.
I watched 4-H showings, visited Clydesdales, looked at farm and ranch implements that totally befuddled me, chatted up the folks that looked like they belonged there, and even tried on a Cowboy hat. I ended up making my way over to the coliseum as I saw on the program that today was the Pro Rodeo time event slack (essentially these decided placement of riders for tonight’s rodeo). The coliseum was really empty on a Tuesday morning, so I was able to move all around grabbing shots from a variety of vantage points. I’ve only ever seen a rodeo on TV and certainly never a show like this from the front row.
Today’s shot is of the only team event in professional rodeo, team roping requires cooperation and timing between two highly skilled ropers – a header and a heeler. The object is to catch the steer and the clock runs until there is no slack in the riders’ ropes and their horses face one another.
Great time and a great front row seat…
Taken with my Canon 6D, EF 24-105mm lens, settings at 1/200s, f5, ISO 6400 handheld