Rough Ride

Well, the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo comes to a close tonight and I’m sure more than a few cowboys and cowgirls will be headed home nursing sore and bruised limbs after a rough ride.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Houston Rodeo personally. Held at NRG stadium where the Houston Texans play NFL football, I’ve never gotten a seat close to the action.

Two weeks before the Houston show, the Katy ISD and FFA (Future Farmers of America) put on the largest school district livestock show and rodeo in . And, since everything is bigger in , it must also be the largest school district rodeo in the world!

The advantage of the small rodeo is you can get close to the action. The Katy ISD rodeo action occurs at night, though, so lighting is always a challenge for photographers who have to wrangle ISO, aperture and shutter speed to get the best images. Of course, more modern gear accommodates higher ISO values with lower noise so low-light photography is certainly an area where the gear you have does make a difference.

Rough Ride was a photo I took back in 2011 and it’s pushing the boundaries of the camera I had back then.

The rodeo part of the Katy ISD FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo is sanctioned by the CPRA – Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association. Their season runs from mid-October through late September with over 90 events on the calendar (some weekends have more than one event).

I don’t recall how the cowboy depicted in Rough Ride did in the competition and the prize purse is different at different events but this year. The winner would have taken home less than $1,000 and only the top three took home any winnings so it’s certainly a tough way to earn a living.

Rough Ride - a cowboy competes at bronco riding at the Katy ISD FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Rough Ride – a cowboy competes at bronco riding at the Katy ISD FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo.

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