Some of my favorite rodeos are the ones that only come around once a year. Durango Fiesta Days is one of them. This was my second year as the official photographer for this event that has been happening for 88 years! I am so honored to get to capture some of the history from my community.
Durango Fiesta Days happens in the arena I shoot in every single Wednesday night with True Western Roundup so I am very familiar with the places to shoot and what will look best in photos. This is a good and bad thing. I want these photos to look unique from the ones I get each week which means I have to get a little more creative. I shoot on the arena floor with the judges, or maybe up high with the announcer, Kyle Tom, in the crows nest. It is never a dull moment out there.
This year I was double booked. I booked Fiesta Days and the Mancos Ranch Rodeo which you will hear about next week. With two events in one weekend I had to get crafty with what performances I captured. I ended up skipping the office job and heading to slack at 9 am on Friday morning where there were over 40 breakaway ropers, over 30 team ropers and over 40 barrel racers. At least the contestants made it worth while to show up! While catching the breakaway action I had one calf that had my number. He side swipped me twice through the day keeping me on my toes.
I spent the rest of the day editing and uploading preparing for the first performance that evening. Friday night was military appreciation night. It was a beautiful performance with amazing light and one of those Colorado sunsets. I caught action from up high and crowd side for some different perspectives.
Saturday morning I got to sleep in just a little bit before we were off to the races. Call me crazy after you hear about our day. We went to my parents for breakfast before heading home to feed the bulls then quickly changed and gathered our things before we raced off to Aztec, NM for our friends daughters first birthday. We enjoyed a little lunch before we jetted off again, this time to Cortez, CO where my fiend was hosting her bridal shower. We closed it down and headed off to Durango, CO for the rodeo. We had time to spare as it began to sprinkle we grabbed our rain gear and headed out.
The weather soon cleared up for a beautiful rainbow to appear and some sunshine on our rodeo. Saturday I shot low most of the time getting some fun shots of the bucking horses and timed events. It was a quick performance and we packed up and headed home to get a little bit of rest before another full day.
I unfortunately missed the third and final performance but you’ll hear more about that next week.
I have gone on long enough but before we get to the photos here are the results from Durango Fiesta Days 2023.
- Matthew Tuni 76 points $981
- Jace Harrison 71 points $654
- Mitchell Story 86.5 $952
- Tyler Beebe 84 $572
- Tyler Beebe 82.5 $381
Open Bull Riding:
- Tommy Sam 84 $1223
- Jacob Huff 82 $734
- Wyatt Nez 67 $489
Novice Bull Riding:
- Dion Espinosa 69 $572
- Kevin Foulk 74.5 $725
- Kevin Foulk 73.5 $544
- Chad Shaw 73 $378
- Cody Kamm 4.3 sec $1,000.50
- Rick Peterson 4.3 sec $1,000.50
- Trevor Duhon 4.5 sec $718
- Brad Begay 5 sec $529
- Trey Hahrgang 5.2 sec $340
- Matt Jodie 5.5 sec $189
Tie Down Roping:
- Malachi Pablo 8.6 sec $1187
- Blaine Mitchell 8.9 sec $890
- Colter Sellers 9.1 sec $444.50
- Reno Scribner 9.1 sec $444.50
- Kadin Jodie 1.86 sec $1,765
- Rhiley Montoya 2.05 sec $1,438
- Teryn McWhirter 2.15 sec $1177
- Kaylee Billingsley 2.37 sec $850
- Stormi Cruzan 2.46 sec $654
- Shaylene Drum 2.47 sec $327
- LeighAnn Scribner 2.57 sec $196
- Ally Zehrer 2.64 sec $130
Open Barrel Racing:
- Jenna Duhon 17.63 sec $1010
- Haley Wolfe 17.763 sec $836
- Rebecca Kenner 17.776 sec $662
- Copper Perry Wilson 17.778 sec $488
- Malyka Muller 17.808 sec $313
- LeighAnn Scribner 17.85 sec $174
Novice Barrel Racing (13-17):
- Bergan Yazzie 18.008 sec $132
- Shaylene Drumm 18.186 sec $99
- Lilli Goltz 18.66 sec $69
Jr Barrel Racing (12 & Under):
- Kodi Mae Rima 18.391 sec $132
- Peyton Gibbons 18.587 sec $99
- Londyn Gonzales 19.577 sec $69
- Ty Anderson/Baylee Johnson 8.69 sec $301
- Rance Rathjen/Harley Barela 9.84 sec $226
- Treydon Gonzales/ Londyn Gonzales 10.86 sec $158
Local Team Roping Header:
- Clay Rathjen 7.72 sec $520
- Dylan Rector 9 sec $390
- Shae Walraven 9.41 sec $260
- Holland Taylor 13.2 sec $130
Local Team Roping Heeler:
- Rance Rathjen 7.72 sec $520
- Mike Rector 9 sec $390
- Jake Cruzan 9.41 sec $260
- Rance Rathjen 13.2 sec $130
Without further-ado, here are highlights from the 2023 Durango Fiesta Days Rodeo.