Saddle Up

A series on the rise of Black women in rodeo. Meet the American photographer who is showcasing an unseen side of Western culture

By Precious Adesina

Photography by Ivan McClellan

Photographer Ivan McClellan, 38, grew up in Kansas, where he would go to large rodeos every year. He spent his free time as a child watching shows such as Bonanza, the second longest running Western in the US, and loved films starring actors John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. “I really thought of the cowboy as a young man and a representation of all of the honourable American traits. They have integrity, they have grit, they keep at it until the job is done and they’re truly free and independent,” he told me.

Two women with cowboy hats standing next to horses outdoors in a rodeo arena
Rodeo competitors kicking up dust in Chandler, Arizona.

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