Back in the beginning of January I was up on my friends farm in Peria. My friends were responsible for putting on a great day for the Rodeo. So I grabbed my camera and went along for the ride! I loved the excitement, the pink shirts, the cowboys walking around with limps, some in plaster casts, the boots, the hats, the dust and the power of the bulls. I was quite surprised at how much I did enjoy it. These are some of the images I took that day...
It's all about the turn of the head apparently. Once the head has been turned the steer goes down quite easily, but until that, it's hard work for the cowboy as the steers are many times heavier.
I'm so glad jeans are made to last and they didn't split up the middle! Or maybe it would have been a better image if they had...
These guys are so agile, jumping from a moving horse onto a moving steer. They make it look so easy, but I know if I tried, I'd probably land face down in the dust. No - I'm not about to try. Ever.
Whoops. There goes another hat. You'd think they would glue the hats down with those toupee strips! (Which by the way are excellent to stick your cochlear implant or hearing aids to the side of your head if you're going to do horse riding, or bull riding!)
This guy not only lost his hat, he lost the steer as well. Toupee strips, toupee strips are the answer. Sigh.
I was amazed at the sheer size and muscularity of the bull. This is one animal I would not like to take on and I admire the bravery (stupidity?) of the cowboys that get on them, only to be flung off like a rag-doll, with the chance the angry bull could trample them underfoot. It didn't happen while I was there, but apparently the day before someone was gored.
Amazingly this guy didn't fall off at this point and went on for another few minutes before being tossed off!
I'm also in awe of how the bulls can leap around in mid air despite their size and weight. This one looks snortingly angry!
That guy in the background spent a lot of time half way up that fence. I'm not sure how safe he was up there really, if the bull got it into his head to use him for target practice.
Air-borne and dangerous!
This very distinctive coloured bull was probably the biggest of the day and put up a huge fight...
To me the bulls are so totally unpredictable in the way the lash out with their hind legs, I was surprised not to see more injuries. I guess the guys in the ring have a bit of experience behind them.
Look at that dust storm beneath his feet. Look how high he's off the ground!
And he's still on top!
But not for long!!!
And yes - my camera got very dusty that day. So much so that I had to go out and buy a new camera the following month!
These are the cowboys in pink shirts that herded the steers/bulls out of the ring after each ride. The shirts say 'Tough Enough to Wear Pink'. Tough men actually look sexy in pink don't you think?
Another angry bull. This one was just standing on one leg. The rest were flying!
This next lot is a sequence of a cowboy in a pink shirt and his bid to stay on one of the larger bulls of the day. The emotions, and expressions and movements of the men in the ring tell a story in itself...
Mr Orange Shirt getting out of the way. If you look closely you can see how hot the day was, and how much effort was required to stay on the bull. It's that damp patch under the arm. Maybe next year they could get one of the deodorant companies to sponsor the event!
In my opinion, what makes this image so good is not only the fact that the bull is caught in midair, but also the eye contact between the guy in the orange shirt and the bull. The guy in the orange shirt is almost in midair himself as well. That makes the image exciting.
This is the next one in the sequel, notice how the guy in the orange shirt has his hand on the bull to try and guide it around. Madness, madness.
The way this cowboy has stayed on has been amazing. I'm pretty sure he must have won his round, but because of my deafness, I never heard who the winners were.
Now the bull is making mucus rings! That was the last shot in that series. I think the guy must have come off after that.
I have just two more images (hope you're aren't bored). That I feel are worthy...
Yeeehaa! But it also almost looks like the bull is smelling those daisies at the same time.
The guy fell off after this shot. The bull wasn't as big either as the last ones either. But still impressive how they leap so far up in the air.
Finally - just one more...
I thought bulls only did this in stories. I was surprised to see it kicking up the dust in warning. I wouldn't like to be in front of it just now!