Cowboy Christmas (2013) 1h 15min · Documentary, Biography, Sport · 1 July 2013
Rodeos are woven into the cultural fabric of the American West and are held in small towns and bustling cities from Arizona to North Dakota, and beyond. Professional rodeo cowboys travel a year-long circuit of these rodeos, participating in a 150 year-old tradition, hoping to grab their share of fame and fortune. Cowboy Christmas is a 75-minute documentary following four of these modern-day cowboys as they drive for miles and miles to get a seconds-long chance at their dream. In the two weeks leading up to Independence Day-the Fourth of July, there are over 30 rodeos in 19 states, with a combined purse of over $3million. Because a rider can win a lot of money, these two weeks are informally and affectionately dubbed Cowboy Christmas. The documentary follows four cowboys making this trip, with each traveling over 2000 miles in eight days, in pickup trucks pulling trailers hauling horses, feed, other cowboys, and lots of desire to win. These cowboys are steer wrestlers who jump from a running horse to a running steer and wrestle it to the ground. The cowboys talk about injuries, driving, care for horses, and money: losing it, winning it and just breaking even. They describe strategy, camaraderie, and the mental game they play to win. And they wrestle steers-from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Oakley, Utah, and places in between. They win, they lose, and their passion for rodeo never wanes. They are cowboys, that most American icon, living their dreams, following the tradition of Western life, while risking broken bones, lost personal relationships and overdrawn bank accounts as they go down the road to the next arena, the next steer, their next chance at the American Dream. - Written by H.D. Motyl
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