Bulls, Broncos and Barrel Racers: a Ripsnorting, Bucking Time


Laytonville’s 40th Annual Rodeo thundered through last weekend and Lynn Harrington was there to capture these photos. Are you going to your local rodeo?

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  • Little-known fact: I’m a rodeo yayhoo with a soft spot for bull riders. I was at Cow Palace to see Donny Gay riding Oscar a couple thousand years ago, racking up more points than in the history of rodeo. My boyfriend’s jaw dropped watching me leap up and start hooting Donny on to the history books.

    It was classic. Perfect form. Bucking-est bull ever, bucking his best and inside two seconds I knew it was history about to be made. I shot out of my seat and was belting out rodeo calls at the top of my lungs… involuntarily. Gorgeous ride and I pity those who never saw it.

    The only other time I remember being that without mental connection to a physical reaction, in public, was when Alan Arkin jumped out of the darkness at Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark. I was in the stranger-next-to-me’s lap before I knew what hit me. I apologized. He said, “No, I’m glad because I was just as scared.”

    I saw Donny Gay in line for a hot dog at Cow Palace the next year and I yelled, “Do it again, Donny!” His fist shot up in the air in solidarity. He’s just a short little guy, but, man, he could ride bulls. That was back when nobody’d be caught dead in a crash helmet… and most of the injuries were not to the head anyway.

    One time I had to wait a week to celebrate someone’s victory in a bull riding event because he’d gotten gored in the side and his arm smashed in the course of it. He had a full arm cast, complete with a prop to keep it out at a right angle to his body so his shoulder would set right, still he was out dancing and romancing me as soon as he woke up and found out he’d won.

    I’m not sure they make ’em like that anymore.

  • Lynn Harrington

    A good helmet is a very good idea for any extreme sports. Broken bones heal but head injuries can ruin someone’s life and the lives of their family.

  • It’s redneck days again, yeehaw see you there !

  • Pingback: The Bucking, Bouncing Fortuna Rodeo in Brilliant Photos | Redheaded Blackbelt

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