DULUTH, GA - JAN 24, 2009: Thousands of people crowded into the Gwinnett Center for an evening of energized violence and brutality. The Toughest Cowboy competition had arrived. The contest involved 12 cowboys competing in the triathlon of cowboy chaos, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
I was allowed to photograph from the rodeo dirt and focused my camera between the ring bars occasionally dodging hyper aggravated animals. I was so close I could hear the animals snort in Pain? Ecstasy? Revenge? Love? Death? I am not sure what they were feeling but they jumped and ran and kicked and screamed like beasts that had just been released from the gates of hell.
Tough cowboy Dusty Elkinton shows extreme calm as he balances sideways on a horse during the bareback bronc riding event.