Cranbourne Rodeo – Report

For those of us who were able to go to the Rodeo at Cranbourne I hope you all had a great time – as great a time as I had at least, I was like a child in a lolly shop.

Dave Sumner, Dave Burton and I were there, together for the most part, so too it seems was Kaye Harding and John Mallet who wrote to me that night to tell me so.  It was a wonderful day.  Sure it was a little hotter than it has been, but it is summer after all – isn’t it?  There was a lot of dust around, bull, horse and the real stuff and for those of you reluctant to expose yourselves due to your health you were justified.  Dave dared me to go up to the St Johns Ambulance folk and squeeze in between their carrying thingy and the fence.  The ladies were too nice about it and before long Dave came up too and brought along his bazooka like 400mm lens, tripod, bag, change of clothes and all the other paraphernalia.  I didn’t bother with a change of clothes.  In hindsight, and indeed that was all we got sometimes, we could have found a better place but once in a good spot we were not too happy to go fossicking for a better spot so we stayed put.  The result of which was that we missed Mr Mallet.  Anyway I had not been to a Rodeo since we took Jamie to Mareeba in North Queensland; in 1979 I think it was, he must have been 4 or 5 years old.  Boy that does put the age on me.  Anyway it all was the same but this time I was able to take a few shots and if I can clean them up I might even include them in this little note.

Technically I needed a long lens; 400mm at least, it would have provided a means of isolating the action from the distr-action. It would also have been nice to have a printed programme that would have allowed an opportunity to know where the action was going to take place in the arena before excited horses, angry bulls, concerned wranglers, ropes and crazy clowns all descended in the same place at the same time!  Sometimes all I saw was horse’s legs!  One cow-boy got his foot caught in the stirrup and he was dragged about like a rag-doll in front of us but neither Dave nor I had a thought for taking his picture – multiple pictures in our case.  Come to think of it the bull riders, wild horse breakers and the cow ropers were all rag-dolls being tossed about by the huge animals they were expected to do duel with.  The golden evening light was wonderful but all too quickly what there was insufficient to make images of the very fast moving action in front of us.  One horses hoof, real one, came through the fence rails and smashed the glass on the face of my watch – don’t ask!!  There was roping, wrestling, riding and a hell of a lot of getting dumped on your bum on the hard baked earth. Huge fun for those of us that were watching.

We missed you there – so we’ll hopefully see you next Sunday 6th February at Queenscliff!

Cheers Andy

Photo by Andy Armitage