During the third weekend in May, rodeo contractors from all over North America converge on eastern Montana for the annual Miles City Bucking Horse Sale. They come to buy saddle broncs, bareback broncs, and bucking bulls — the ornerier the better for the entertainment of future spectators back home. The animals are either bred to be wild or they’re high-spirited young riding horses culled for their stubborn refusal to be broken. Here, outcasts are given the chance to shine.
Growing up around horses, I have been bit, kicked, and bucked a fair amount in my life. Let's just say there were several instances where there were inches between me and a hoof. But it wasn’t until 1996 that I attended the sale for the first time, writing for MENS Journal magazine when I was on staff there. And over the years I’ve come to find that the MCBHS is a fun one to shoot. It's almost unheard of to be in the arena during the events at a rodeo of this size, and I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to photograph the sale once again.