Wilsall: a place in Montana where cowboys live.
Bryan Larson, former videographer for Murdoch’s, set out to capture the sights and sounds of the Wilsall Rodeo a while back. It’s a two-day main attraction that’s been going on since the ’50s, and it has that special true-grit, small town character that we love at Murdoch’s.
It’s also a rodeo that bleeds community spirit. When it takes 150 volunteers to put it on, and there are 230 folks living in the town, it truly is an all-hands-on-deck approach.
Here’s what Bryan had to say about his day at the rodeo:
From what I’ve seen, small town rodeos share some common DNA. The smiling faces, warm sun, and neighborly attitudes are apparent across the board, but every now and then, you’re struck by a unique character that sets one apart. For myself, I don’t know if it was the Crazy Mountains towering in the background (what can I say, I’m a photographer at heart, and they were pretty dang photogenic), the weathered wood of the stands, or the local kids saddling up for the bucking pony events, but Wilsall sure knows how to have a great time.
The crowds arrived early, but no one was in a hurry to get to the stands. It seemed as much about catching up with neighbors as the rodeo itself. Small groups congregated around their trailers, prepping horses and enjoying the cool afternoon of a prefect mid-June day. When one group heard that I was with Murdoch’s they told me to give a hard time to one of our assistant managers for not making it down this year. Even 60 miles away from our home office in Bozeman, we’re still all a part of the community.
I’m not a cowboy myself, but in just a brief time in Wilsall, I can come right around to their point of view. One of the day’s Bull Fighters, Ty Berg, said it pretty well: “I dreamed about this all my life, and there’s nothing else that I want to do, just traveling, and being around this kind of group of people.”
Thank you for the warm welcome and the cool breezes, Wilsall! See you next year.