Monday, March 8, 2010

Musical Memories 2010

Red Star Rebellion & Willie Nelson
Music can have a profound effect on people. Or maybe that is just me. Music can bring back memories or people, places, and events of life. True the memories may be good or bad, but it is all held together by the music.

We have attended a few musical events of late. We went to see Willie Nelson at a local casino. He is still one of my favorite performers and I have seen him at least seven times.

The other events included band called multiple trips to see Red Star Rebellion. They are a local Tucson band with a unique sound. I keep seeing them listed as an alternative rock band. Guess I have a different definition for alternative rock. These guys have a great sound with some cover music and tunes of their own. I would definitely recommend that folks go see them. I actually work with the lead singer. I am amazed at his singing voice! Check them out online or, better yet, in person.


The first La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Celebration of the Cowboys) in 1925 touted three days of events and competition. Today, the event has grown to a nine-day celebration centered on the Tucson Rodeo, one of the top 25 professional rodeos in North America.
We had a great time at the 2010 event!

Professional rodeo action consists of two types of competitions - roughstock events and timed events - and an all-around cowboy crown.

In the roughstock events bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding a contestant's score is equally dependent upon his performance and the animal's performance. To earn a qualified score, the cowboy, while using only one hand, must stay aboard a bucking horse or bull for eight seconds. If the rider touches the animal, himself or any of his equipment with his free hand, he is disqualified.

In saddle bronc and bareback riding, a cowboy must "mark out" his horse; that is, he must exit the chute with his spurs set above the horse's shoulders and hold them there until the horse's front feet hit the ground after the initial jump out of the chute. Failing to do so results in disqualification.

During the regular season, two judges each score a cowboy's qualified ride by awarding 0 to 25 points for the rider's performance and 0 to 25 points for the animal's effort. The judges' scores are then combined to determine the contestant's score. A perfect score is 100 points.

In timed events steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing and steer roping; cowboys and cowgirls at "the other end of the arena" compete against the clock, as well as against each other. A contestant's goal is to post the fastest time in his or her event. In steer wrestling and the roping events, calves and steers are allowed a head start. The competitor, on horseback, starts in a three-sided fenced area called a box. The fourth side opens into the arena.

A rope barrier is stretched across that opening and is tied to the calf or steer with a breakaway loop. Once the calf or steer reaches the head-start point - predetermined by the size of the arena - the barrier is automatically released. If a cowboy breaks that barrier, a 10-second penalty is added.
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

I would like to cover one final topic that I hear form time to time. They do not abuse these animals! They are bred for this purpose! The really good ones spend less than five minutes in a year actually being rode. It is a huge business that would suffer greatly if the animals were beaten or abused. Those that believe otherwise will never be convinced unless they experience otherwise. I have been there behind the chutes, photographed various events, and even on the roughstock animals, and have never seen a single issue of abuse. It would not have been tolerated! I have said my peace on that one.

I was fortunate to have a decent seat to shoot pictures at this years’ rodeo. I have also been able to shoot from the arena at other events. It is always a great time and very family oriented. Let me know what you think of the images.