Family: Wife Linda
Years in Rodeo: all my life, shooting for 30 years
Why like shooting: I like being around livestock, Good Cowboys, and good Bucking horses. Grew up in a rodeo family, my Dad, and brother rode bucking horse, as did I. I like rodeo people, and it was a way to stay involved in Ride without being competitor. I like the preservation of rodeo history. I find it a challenge every time I step out in the arena.
I never dreamed when I started how far I would have gone. The ultimate goal is to shoot the NFR. I have been fortunate enough to shoot it in the past and dram to do it again. The cowboys have always been very supportive and they always appreciate a good pic.
JJJ PHOTO (triple J Photo) was established in 1958 by husband/wife team Jim & Marilyn Svoboda who originally lived in Burwell, NE. The business name was derived from their JJJ cattle brand since Svoboda (Sa-bow-da) is difficult to pronounce and/or spell. Jim was a four event rodeo contestant himself for 20 years.
JJJ Photo has an extensive photo file of over two million negatives prior to switching to digital in 2005, which probably are more rodeo photos than any other photographer in history. This becomes a valuable asset to their vast media clientele with deadlines to meet. Every photo is identified with who, what, when and where. They travel about 50,000 miles annually and especially enjoy following their eight (one great) grandkids sports/activities.
Jim’s hobbies include dousing, collecting marbles and coins, playing cards and everything involving rodeo. Marilyn is an accomplished seamstress.
Currently the major JJJ PHOTO project is completing a coffee table book of Jim’s legacy in the arena and behind the lens. This book will incorporate well over a 1000 photos and should become a reality in this upcoming year.
Kent Kerschner aka Foto Cowboy
HOMETOWN: Hutchinson, Ks
YEARS INVOLVED IN RODEO NEWS AND HOW IT STARTED: ( I cant remember when I started with Rodeo News)
RELATIONSHIP TO RODEO: Professional Photographer and More than Rodeo
WHY YOU LIKE SHOOTING FOR RODEO NEWS: Great people to work with, easy to work with
ONE PERSONAL THING ABOUT YOURSELF: Dedicated to my job, Full time Photographer over 38 years
Laura Lambert – I live in Wiggins, Colo. along with my husband, Ricky and our two boys, Brayden and Boedy. We are also blessed to have a talented young lady living with us as our “adopted” daughter, Selina Wiseman. I do a lot for a living, kind of whatever it takes so-to-speak. I write freelance articles for magazine, bookkeeping and management for Great West Trailer and Truck, along with train barrel horses and put on barrel races. Growing up around horses and rodeo has afforded me a wonderful life that my family enjoys. As for hobbies, I guess I don’t really have too many. I am an avid “cross-fitter” and aside from barrel racing that is probably the thing I enjoy most. My family comes first though. I know my beautiful children will only be little once and I don’t want to miss any part of their accomplishments. I enjoy reading and helping other people succeed. Horses pretty much occupy most of my “free” time – although I treat that like a job and a business as well. I’ve been blessed to write for Rodeo News for about three years now.
Raised in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, I did not come from a rodeo family so my desire for such a lifestyle seemed to come out of left field. But God had a plan, as He always does! When God began speaking to me about “laying down rodeo because it was an idol”…..I bowed up big time. I imagined being assigned to a boring life of simply feeding the hunting dogs. I couldn’t have been further from the truth! But as it always is….God doesn’t reveal what He has in mind until we sign our name to the blank sheet of paper and agree to follow Him without a clue as to where He’s going! Well….I’ve ridden broncs and bulls…rode at the NFR by invitation, twice…traveled to 5 foreign countries…ministered at an Aboriginal community in Australia….been rescued from being in the middle of a terrorist engagement in Central America….I’m friends with some of the BEST people in the rodeo world….have recorded 9 CD’s to date and have been blessed to sing in more places than I can remember! And the adventure is far from being over!! Life with God at the helm…I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way!
Fred McClanahan, Jr.
Hometown: Fort Collins
Family: Sister, brother-in-law, two nieces, one great-nephew and many, many friends who are just like family.
Years involved in Rodeo News and how it started (use your words and be BRIEF): Siri called me in 2004 and was in need of a photographer to go to Cheyenne. I shot the first weekend with slide film, shot the next weekend with my new digital camera and the rest is history.
Relationship to rodeo: Photographer and PRCA photographer since 2007
Why you like photograph for Rodeo News: Siri, Lacey and I have a good working relationship and I enjoy helping them out. They got me started in this part of my life.
One personal thing about yourself – a dream, a motto, a handicap, a success, anything that will personalize your information from the rest of the list. To say I’ve had many of my rodeo photos published is the dream come true. I look back on my first images and my first cover shot and I can say I’ve come a long way since then. I feel very blessed.
HOMETOWN: Hartsel, Colo.
FAMILY: Married to Travis Nevius (the 2012 CPRA saddle bronc riding champion and PRCA cowboy). Two children (Jarrett and Jaycee). At only 6 years old, Jarrett has shown that he is destined to be a cowboy. Working alongside his parents, on the family ranch raising cattle, buffalo and horses, he performs the same duties expected from any rancher, including gathering, working, check and feeding the livestock. Determined to be a bronc rider when he grows up, Jarrett has already started his journey within the arena, competing in gymkhana buckle series and mutton bustin’ events. Jaycee, a 2-year-old cowgirl, is made of nothing but boots, chaps and sparkles. She loves horses, barrel racing and anything shinny, which includes a buckle her daddy won and gave her to wear.
YEARS INVOLVED IN RODEO NEWS AND HOW IT STARTED: In order to raise a family, my personal competition has slowed down to local events and I have only recently eased my way back into getting a new barrel horse seasoned. Holding that personal experience, though, it only seemed right that I pass my knowledge of rodeo on through the tales of other competitors, so joined the Rodeo News team in the fall of 2011 and have been writing ever since.
RELATIONSHIP TO RODEO: I grew up in a rodeo family. My dad (Monte) and two uncles (Chris and Mark) were rough stock competitors, riding all three events within the National Little Britches Rodeo Association (NLBRA) and later, the Colorado State Rodeo Association (now known as the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association). My mom (Tracy) competed in horse shows and local timed events throughout her youth. The tradition was then passed on to me and my four siblings (Monte, Mindy, Micky and Myles), all of which competed in the NLBRA and the National High School Rodeo Association. During this time, I competed in every event available at one time or another, but stuck primarily to barrel racing and pole bending. While my two older brothers (Monte and Micky) both went on to winning titles in the CPRA and the New Mexico Rodeo Association, along with large amounts and esteemed titles within the PRCA, my two other siblings (Mindy and Myles) have put competition on hold to raise families and follow additional dreams.
WHY YOU LIKE WRITING FOR RODEO NEWS: In my time with the magazine, I have had the privilege of telling the story of countless cowboys’ and cowgirls’ lives, experiences and even struggles, in and out, of the rodeo world. It is amazing to discover the diversity that is within one sport and I have the honor in bringing those tales to light.
ONE PERSONAL THING ABOUT YOURSELF: Through the grace of God, my husband and I have hopes of passing the western heritage and family tradition on to our kids, and do so, by keeping it a part of their everyday lives and maintaining our faith in Him.
Ruth Nicolaus has been writing for Rodeo News since 2009.
I live in Blue Hill, Nebraska, and the best part of writing for Rodeo News is interviewing the young people involved in rodeo. Their enthusiasm and vim and vigor for life give me motivation!
I also run a marketing and advertising business for rodeos and bull ridings and provide publicity services for rodeos across ten states. I’ve never competed in the sport, but I have a love and deep respect for the matchup of horse versus cowboy, and for the ability of a horseman or woman to get into the mind of an equine to convince them to do what they want done.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking, gardening, cheering for the Huskers, and my six nieces and nephews.
Hometown: Born & raised in Veradale, Washington; now claim Erie, Colorado as my home town.
Family: My fantastic wife, Joan of 44years.
Years involved in Rodeo News and how it started (use your words and be BRIEF): First picked a rope at 40 years old and started learning team roping.
Relationship to rodeo: I compete in local jackpots and have competed in Senior Pro Rodeos team roping and ribbon roping. I enjoy photographing rodeos and am always trying for the one frame that says it all.
Why you like writing for Rodeo News: I really enjoy the people I get to talk with and find out about their story. Some are very motivational in their philosophy about life, competing, preparation, and living their dream.
One personal thing about yourself – a dream, a motto, a handicap, a success, anything that will personalize your information from the rest of the list.
I have a few quotes that I like to read and re-read and try to make them my ‘motto’. This one is by Granville Kleiser is a favorite. “To live at this time is an inestimable privilege, and a sacred obligation develops upon you to make right use of your opportunities.”
Hometown: East Lansing, Michigan
Years involved with Rodeo News and how it started: I’ve been writing for Rodeo News for seven years. I had written a few articles for the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) when they were publishing their own magazine and enjoyed it. When the IPRA came on board with the Rodeo News, I called Siri and asked if I could become part of her staff.
Relationship to rodeo: I’ve never competed, but was a fan throughout my childhood. In college I was on the committee that organizes the Michigan State University Spartan Stampede. I have been a photographer for seven years and am a member of the IPRA and the Mid States Rodeo Association.
Why you like writing for Rodeo News: Writing for the Rodeo News has provided me with a way to be involved with a sport I love. It has allowed me to get to know many fantastic people from contestants to personnel to committee members.
Quote I live by: “You were born an original, don’t die a copy” – Unknown
Hometown: Nampa, Idaho
Family: I live with my parents, Brian and LuAnn, brother, Vaughn, two dogs, Anise and Curry, five chickens, Flossie, Em’ly, Pepper, Chai, and Roberta, and my horse, Brego.
Years involved in Rodeo News, how it started: I have been writing for the Rodeo News for two and a half years. It started with finding The Horse of my dreams and needing a job to pay for the delightful expenses of horse ownership. I was still in high school at the time, and Rodeo News fit perfectly into my home education.
Relationship to rodeo: One of the first rodeos I went to watch was the Snake River Stampede in my hometown of Nampa. It became a tradition for my dad and I to go every summer. It was there I first saw the youth drill team, the EhCapa Bareback Riders, perform. I pulled my non-horsey family into EhCapa and have been riding with the club and performing at rodeos around the West for the last five years.
Why you like writing for Rodeo News: I enjoy it for innumerable reasons! I love the variety of people I meet, and 200+ stories and interviews have taught me more about rodeo than any Google search could! Sharing the stories of these remarkable rodeo athletes is an honor and I am continually amazed by the determination, passion, and grit of these cowboys and cowgirls.
One personal thing about yourself: I am currently working on my first novel, which is so much easier said than done! Taking time to write between working and my never-ending list of interests takes perseverance that my procrastinating self doesn’t always go for. But Agatha Christie said it best, “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”
Hometown: Mustang, Oklahoma
Family: My parents, Don and Susan, were incredible people. They raised me to be independent and to see the best in people. They also supported my love of horses. Sadly, my parents passed away, but their love and support fuel me still. I have a twin sister, Maegan, who is my best friend and an older brother, Josh, plus extended family and friends that I am so lucky to have.
Years involved in Rodeo News and how it started (use your words and be BRIEF): I’ve been writing for Rodeo News and doing rodeo related journalism for almost a year. I’ve been a journalist in Oklahoma for several years, graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I’ve fallen in love with going back to my roots and writing about rodeo and the western way of life.
Relationship to rodeo: I’ve had horses since early childhood, riding for fun and doing playdays around Oklahoma. Recently I’ve gone back to barrel racing and hope to focus more attention on the sport as a competitor in the coming years.
Why you like writing for Rodeo News: Getting to talk to people all over the country who have made rodeo a way of life is amazing. I love getting to hear their stories and share those with Rodeo News readers. The rodeo community is a truly special one, and though it is huge, it still feels small.
One personal thing about yourself: I first wanted to be a journalist after hearing the story of Dan Eldon, a photojournalist killed in Somalia when he was 22. His work shed light on important issues and effected change. His life celebrated the beauty in the world and that the “Journey is the Destination.” I hope to live that way and let my work bring awareness, while sharing how blessed we truly are.