Since neither Rich nor I had seen a rodeo, when we visited the Puyallup Fair two weeks ago, we decided to get tickets to see the Puyallup Pro Radio Justin Boots Playoffs. Knowing what to expect at a rodeo, I opted to block out the negatives, and focusing on snapping photos.

We’d purchased seats in advance, and luckily snagged two “cheap seats” at the far end of the field, in the front row of the top section so no one was sitting in front of us. I was able to set my camera on “sports” and zoom in to fairly successfully capture the action. My strategy was to anticipate where I thought the animals and rider would appear, and then hold the camera steady, wait until they entered the frame, hold my breath, and snap!

In between taking pictures, I noticed Rich was looking away during certain events. It was hard to overlook the fact young steer were being grabbed by the horns and wrestled to the ground. And during the tie down, very young cattle were pulled to a stop by a rope around the neck, and then lifted up by their legs and smacked onto the ground where they were tied up.

I won’t go into any more details, but every U.S. and many international animal welfare organizations are adamantly opposed to rodeos and events, which use fear, stress or pain to make animals perform or where animals could be injured or killed.

Here are my pictures from my first and last rodeo…. Sorry bucking horses and bulls, little steer and calves.