Rodeo Cowboys, The Last Heroes
Rodeo is perhaps the world’s greatest test of physical endurance and raw heroism. For writer Ted Barris and photographer Robert Semeniuk, it is a fascinating and colourful world made up of rugged individualists.
It is the participant, the cowboy, who has excited both young and old for decades. Year in and year out, these men test their strength against the power of animals in such rodeo events as steer wrestling and bronc riding. Sometimes they are rewarded for their efforts by a winning time, but often they receive little more than the appreciative applause of an enthusiastic audience before heading down the road to the next rodeo.
What motivates these men to keep up such a grueling schedule? What has kept the tradition alive for so long? Through the combined effort of a gifted writer and an expert photographer, the exciting and entertaining world of the rodeo cowboy comes alive.
Guy Weadick was referring to the rodeo cowboy when he said, “There will be a tinge of sadness as we gaze upon the sunset of a dying race.”
Well, the spirit has been true, the faith has been strong and the toughness, independence and resilience long symbolized by the rodeo cowboy are still alive today.
In this absorbing account, author Ted Barris introduces the rodeo cowboys of past and present, and guides us through the challenging events of rodeo competition. There are other stories too, stories of great horses like Outlaw, who could be subdued but never broken. Then, there is the action and colour of rodeo, recorded through the camera of expert photographer Robert Semeniuk.
For those who love rodeo and admire the gritty determination of the sport’s participants, Rodeo Cowboys illustrates that rodeo truly is home to some of our last heroes.
TED BARRIS works from Edmonton as a freelance writer and broadcaster. His material takes numerous forms – documentary, education-aid and entertainment feature – in print, on radio and television. As well, he is the author of a book entitled Fire Canoe: Prairie Steamboat Days Revisited published in 1977.
ROBERT SEMENIUK and his camera are native to Alberta, but his photography reflects global subject matter and knows an international following. An extensive traveler, Semeniuk has pursued photo-journalistic assignment to the Fiji Islands, St. Lucia, into the coal mines of Tennessee and among the Igloolik Inuit. His photo art has been featured in galleries across Canada.