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Burwell Big Rodeo, Nebraska, 1996

Photo: Burwell Big Rodeo
Spectators at the Big Rodeo in Burwell, Nebraska are silhouetted against roiling sunset-tinged clouds.

Bull riding and a wild horse race are big draws at the Big Rodeo. Although participants risk injury, it's not enough to make some Nebraska cowboys hang up their spurs. When asked why he keeps riding at the Big Rodeo, one contestant said, "The adrenaline. And to see if you can conquer the beast."

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Nebraska," November 1998, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Joel Sartore

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