Behind The Scenes Of The GCPRA Rodeo

Behind The Scenes Of The GCPRA Rodeo
RSM Team / 31 Jan 2017 / No Comments » Comments

By Karley Glover/LHHS Journalism Student

He looks into the dark, cold eyes of the bull causing hesitation to engulf him. Sensing the riders impending fear, his fellow cowboys shout encouraging words in his ears.

A cowboy rides out of the chute Sunday afternoon. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Leaving doubt in the dirt, he climbs over the rail and mounts the bull. The chute flies open, and he’s now only eight seconds away from victory.

Last weekend at the Grand Canyon Professional Rodeo Association rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls of all talents competed in the events they love. With a combination of bull and bronc riders, barrel racers, ropers and more, the rodeo wasn’t short of contestants.

While the crowd sees the results of these hard-working men and women, by taking a glimpse into the cowboy way of life, one can learn what it’s really like behind the worn-out boots and a Stetson hat.

One of these men is John Killian, a bareback rider. Killian has been around the ranching and rodeo life since he was young, and he seemed destined to one day be a rodeo star.

Jon Killian rides saddle bronc Sunday afternoon. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“I go every weekend that I can, and every weekend that I can’t, I’m usually working,” Killian said. Besides being part of the rodeo scene, Killian also has a day job as an ICU nurse.

Unlike his fellow bareback rider, Shane Morin spends his days on the road. “I don’t stay anywhere for more than a couple weeks at a time,” he said.

The 26-year-old has been involved in rodeos since he was 14. Now he gets to hang out with his buddies all the time and win money by doing what he loves.

Another event held at the rodeo was extreme bronc riding. In this event, there is a team of three and the point is to hold down a horse, saddle him and get a rider on him.

A cowboy hangs onto the horse during Extreme Bronc Riding Sunday afternoon. Kylee Collins/LHHS

A member of one of the teams is TC Buntin.

Buntin’s team has been number two in the nation and won many other professional and amateur rodeos.

One feature all these cowboys have in common is the way they feel when they’re out doing what they love. “The feeling you get when riding and after the ride, it’s phenomenal,” Morin added.

From the background they have to the way they prepare themselves for a ride, each cowboy has his own story, which has gotten them to where they are now.

Lake Havasu resident Homero Rueda rides in the bareback competition. Kylee Collins/LHHS

Photo gallery by Kylee Collins/LHHS:

Photo gallery by Ken Gallagher:

Photo gallery by Jillian Danielson:

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