Behind the Chutes
by Nathan Jones

project STATEMENT

Behind the Chutes explores rodeo culture across the Canadian plains. Every year for one weekend, many small towns come alive with a mix of cowboys, rodeo fans, and livestock. Competitors chase their belt buckle dreams down grid roads, right out of the chute.

Many of the cowboys and cowgirls fit in three to five rodeos per weekend, balancing the grueling schedule on top of their day jobs. It is not uncommon to drive thousands of kilometers each weekend throughout the summer chasing entries from town to town. And while the exhaustive schedule can be demanding and expensive, there is a steadfast passion and camaraderie surrounding them that often seems impossible to beat down.

A good friend and cowboy once told me “the best way to become a millionaire rodeoing is to start with two million.” It is a gamble to dedicate your life to chasing rodeos knowing that your fate can change with a nod of the head or the toss of a rope. At the end of the day, knowing you can dust yourself off counting the wins or losses with pride alongside folks as dedicated and passionate as you makes it all worth it.

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