These photographs are part of a week-long odyssey assigned by Sports Illustrated involving a bunch of saddle bronc riders during what is affectionately known in rodeo circles as “Cowboy Christmas”–a stretch of time in early July in which there are so many rodeos, and so much money to be won, that every cowboy worth his salt endeavors to get to as many, and win as much as he can. I rode around in a 1997 Dodge Explorer van with Jacobs and Sterling Crawley, Jeremy Melancon and Dean Wadsworth, driving 3,981 miles in 82 hours, stopping only for gas and the occasional gas station soda. We went from Greeley, Colorado to Prescott, Arizona to Molalla and St. Paul, Oregon, to Cody, Wyoming before finally driving north to the Calgary Stampede. The rodeo life is not a glamorous one, but these guys certainly love it and I think that comes through in the pictures.
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