So Friday 20th may was the 3rd day of a 4 day rodeo that is the Santa Rosa Roundup that's been going annually for 71 years.
I was lucky enough to go back in 2014 when I was on harvest with the JKD crew but I had a night without the camera. Luckily this time I knew what to expect and so the camera was charged and ready to roll for the event.
As we approached the rodeo ground it was amazing to see everybody stop for the national anthem, men, women and children stopped where they were no matter what they were doing, hats were removed and many people held their hands to their chests while becoming one united choir to sing the song of their nation. I too took part and felt a great sense of pride even though I'm not an American citizen, to be a part of something that means so much to so many sends a shiver down your spine but also you get a warm feeling.
As we (the crew) entered the rodeo grounds their was a heavy presence of cowboy attire (mainly hats) chequered shirts & wrangler jeans, a common sight but everybody looked smart and dressed for the occasion. Below the grandstand their were food stands, merchandise stands and a bar. The smell of candyfloss seemed to linger in the air taking away the smell of soggy soil and grass.
After stocking up on food and beverages we headed into the grandstand which consisted of wooden benches/steps, a real classic design. The stand was 90% full which was great to see as well as seated areas around the arena. As the sun started to set north-west of the arena the activities were well underway.
There was a fantastic display of horsemanship as cowboys and cowgirls put on a fantastic display of skill and entertainment. The Palomino club was also a pleasure to witness, such grace & discipline, and it was great to see the mutton busting too! The bull riding was a great show, something we don't see in the UK so it was great too see this first hand, well the whole display was something spectacular. A huge credit to all who put it together and organised the event.
I look forward to doing it all again next May!