I am always up to head to a new arena to cover rodeo so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to head out to Bernallilo, New Mexico for two days of rodeo action with Whitley Buckers and Law Rodeo Productions. Read about the adventure, and I am sharing TWO highlight galleries.
After a four hour car ride with a snoring co-pilot we made it to our destination. We headed into the rodeo grounds to find multiple trailers stuck in the deep sand. We began to feel ourselves sink in if we got off the beaten path. We finally found a safe spot and it was off to help people get unstuck. We had a few hours to kill before we needed to be ready for the first performance. We helped water the back pens so there wasn’t a lot of dust. I did a little editing in the car from who knows what and then attempted a nap.
Performance one was great. There was a stellar crowd. I was the only photographer so I made my way into the arena. This arena had woven wire and cable around the sides making it almost impossible to get up and out of the way if needed. So, I needed to get a little creative with my shooting. I had just gotten my new camera as well so I was getting to test it in the arena.
We had a pre-show of sheep, calves, steers and a section of jr bulls before we started the main event. Which, for me, meant it was about to be a long night. There were a lot of entries and I snapped away through all of it.
The mountain backdrop was absolutely beautiful with lightning popping off in the distance. The sheep riders got the crowd warmed up and the roughstock didn’t disappoint.
After night one we went through the Wataburger drive through at midnight and off to the hotel. The check in was slow, with many mix ups and room changes, but we were able to be looking at the back of our eyelids at 2 am. I spent the following morning editing and loading photos to the site and charging gear for the following performance.
Here are highlight photos from Perf 1.
Now let’s get into day number two!
I got to sleep in while the boys went and grained the stock. I edited, posted and uploaded when I woke up while watching those hotel room Saturday morning cartoons. I finally got out of bed and ready for the day. It was in fact lunch time by then.
We headed to this cute brewery down the road that had great cheese curds and a chicken sandwich. After lunch we were invited to do a little bowling with some of the contestants and hired help. We headed through the maze of slot machines for what seemed like an hour before finding a great bowling alley.
We bowled a few games, I got my butt kicked. Then it was off to take a quick nap before our next performance. The minutes came and went and we scattered back to arena. Our gear was ready and we did it all over again.
At rodeos that have multiple days I always look for a new spot to shoot the action. That way contestants that are there both days get a variety and it helps me get new skills and try new things. I shot in the arena with the bulls. It was nerve wracking. I was clinging to the fence as much as I could while trying to stay in camera for the shot. It didn’t always work out. I always try to stand with the judges. Most of them are friendly and I can know when I need to get out of the way if there is a mean bull coming out.
Overall the Bernalillio rodeo was a blast. We are excited to hopefully be back next year!
Performance 2 highlights.