Rodeo is a photographic project I completed a few years ago in the Western States. I decided to take one aspect of cowboy culture and try to understand why this controversial and dangerous sport has captured the hearts and souls of so many American people.
Rodeos originated in North America during the great cattle drives in the mid 1800’s, when cowboys from neighbouring ranches would get together to show off their horsemanship and ranching skills. These gatherings eventually grew into loosely organised competitions where cowboys would rope cattle, break in horses and ride bulls.
Today, the largest governing body, The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, has over 11,000 members and holds over 700 rodeos a year throughout the U.S.A. offering total prize money in excess of $40 million. Other associations such as The Working Ranch Cowboys Association and countless amateur and junior events help make the rodeo one of the fastest growing sports in America.