Mutton Busting

Mutton Busting

Mutton Busting

This week is the annual “Strawberry Days” festival in Pleasant Grove, Utah where I live.  This is the oldest celebration in the state, rich with fun activities for families.  Along with the strawberries and cream sold everywhere, one of the favorites events is the rodeo.  This is a PRCA event, so riders come from all over to compete as part of their national ranking and points accumulation.

The show was great, and of course I took my camera to see what I could capture.  Honestly it was a tough even to photo from the stands.  I had to bring my longest lens and hand hold it at full zom while sitting on cramped bleachers to capture the action across the arena.  No small task I tell you.  I had plenty of blurry photos as a result; but, as I had hoped, I came away with a few keepers.

I’ll share some others soon, but I wanted to start with what is one of my favorite parts of a rodeo, Mutton Busting.  I am not a rodeo enthusiast, so one a year suits me just fine.  They are a lot of fun for the kids, including this big kid with his camera.  For the kids really involved – and mine were too chicken to jump in – they can sign up to ride the sheep bareback style.

I have plenty of shots of kids falling, etc., but this was by far my favorite because of the action and expression captured.  This is what I love about photography.  Here is a closeup crop of just the kid and the sheep:

Mutton Busting - Closeup

That look of concentration mixed with fear is priceless.  It was wiped off his face when he received the high score to that point for his ride.  Most kids fell off within seconds of course, but this one made it the distance as that sheep headed all around the arena.  He was bested later, but he received the biggest applause of the night.

Please take a moment to view this photo at a larger, desktop wallpaper size to really get a better feel for the scene.

Canon 20D, Sigma 50-500mm, 1/1600 at f8.0 and 400ISO