Biker Bull Riding on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum

Ignacio, Colorado. 
In the annual festivities that surround Ignacio’s Bike Week motorcycle rally, those with the courage join the bull in the pin for eight seconds of glory. Biker Bull riding as it is dubbed, takes non professional bull riders and gives them a taste of pain, or victory depending on the temperament of the animal, and the skill of the rider. 

In a few hours time I will be once again photographing the action…Nikon in hand!


Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2012.

A subject that has intrigued me from an early age. My western roots, combined with the dust and leather of these particularly nostalgic events…cowboy culture to the core.
I have seen many and even photographed a few western rodeos in my day. Bulls, broncs, and even mutton bustin‘ make for action packed images..literally packed into a few seconds once they open the gates.
Like any event that I cover, the bulk of my attention is focused on the lifestyle surrounding that event, the fringes if you like. A few years back, I used my press pass at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial to spend a few hours covering the Dine ‘Navajo’ Rodeo. Shooting the fringes here was no exception. Using a short lens and plenty of personal interaction, I was able to shoot the bull riders as they prepared for their eight second ride, both mentally and physically.
More rodeos are in my future as I continue to document the American West…camera in hand.
Keep checkin‘ in. Best, Jeremy

Bikers, Bulls & Brews…

Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum

Working at a local newspaper, once can easily become accustomed to the ebb and flow of a year from the coverage that revolves as faithfully as a pendulum. The spring is ushered in with cultural events, big powwows and the ending of each summer with bike rally and tribal fair before the autumn colors show themselves with the coming of winter.

This shot is one of my favorites, the product of diligent shooting along the sidelines of the annual “Biker Bull Rodeo,” an event that encourages non professionals to loosen up at the beer tent, sign a waiver and try their luck with the local livestock. Action packed to say the least!

This image is selected from coverage in The Southern Ute Drum in the fall of 2009. One from the archive! Next weekend I’ll be back at it, always seeking another way to visually tell the story. Action lends itself to the event, for no two frames will ever be the same. Get creative, be patient, and the good things will happen!

Best, Jeremy