February, 2014 Archives

Mamas Don’t Let your Babies Grow Up to …

February 13th, 2014 Permalink

Follow Cowboys. Well sorry mom, I did.   But it all turned out okay.  I followed horse trainer, Matt Zimmerman, from his win at the “Extreme Mustang Makeover” in Albany, Oregon, to his adoption of his new horses in preparation for the biggest competition of them all: “The Mustang Million” in Ft. Worth, TX. I [...]

Follow Cowboys.

Well sorry mom, I did.   But it all turned out okay.  I followed horse trainer, Matt Zimmerman, from his win at the “Extreme Mustang Makeover” in Albany, Oregon, to his adoption of his new horses in preparation for the biggest competition of them all: “The Mustang Million” in Ft. Worth, TX.

I randomly picked Matt at his first competition and he ended up taking first place out of all of the finalists.  When I stopped shooting and got a chance to chat with him,  I learned he had survived a near fatal fall from a horse  – the 1500 pound animal had actually fallen on top of him and impaled him with the saddle horn.   After weeks in the hospital, he adopted and trained his horse Diamond and went from not being able to walk, to leaving Albany a winner.

He was one of many mustang trainers in the country who decided to pack up their horses and hit the road for “The Mustang Million” in September, and I was fortunate that my trek across the desert wasn’t in vain.  Hemispheres magazine sent me to Texas to follow Matt.  When I arrived, Matt had ripped off his cast from a newly broken arm because he felt it gave him less control over  his horse June.  I remembered June from the adoption, and she was a hopeful, but according to Matt, his pilot errors from not being able to steer her correctly hurt her.  His last hope was  Mojo, a beautiful black gelding that was new to me.  The other horse Matt adopted had suffered a head fracture at the roundup and they gave Matt Mojo as a replacement a month later.  With one month less training time than his counterparts, he managed to finish 38th out of 191 (18 away from the top 20).

There were other, more “obvious” contenders at the Million.  Some very well known, some very flashy, and some were even followed by The National Geographic Channel for a recent documentary.  There were times when a crew of large cameras and lights mowed me down, and I had to worm my way through to shoot Matt near the arena. It was just me and writer Eric Benson following the man I had come to know as the talented, gutsy individual who was not going to back down. The most important part  -  he has  a very  real,  imperfect life -  just like yours and mine – but that doesn’t get in his way.  He just gets through the pain and moves forward.  That’s what I love about photojournalism and following a hopeful all the way into the desert:  sometimes the “not- so-obvious” is the more interesting choice.

Here are some of the photos during my journey with Zimmerman….

Matt when I first met him in 2012 and his win with Diamond.

The adoption of his new horses for The Mustang Million in Burns, OR.  Mojo was not yet a part of things.

The Mustang Million, Ft Worth TX  (Not published by Hemispheres)

The published version of the story at this link. ..

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Puget Sound Business Journal at The Museum of Flight

February 1st, 2014 Permalink

Photographed the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Book of Lists – The Listmakers’ Reception” at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.   Nothing like hobnobbing under an SR-71 .

Photographed the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Book of Lists – The Listmakers’ Reception” at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.   Nothing like hobnobbing under an SR-71 .