Capturing the Devon Cowboys

Thursday 26 April 2018
Nick Michelle

Third year Press & Editorial Photography student Maisie Marshall has been featured in Huck magazine for her project on the British Rodeo Cowboy Association.

The series captures the lifestyles and likenesses of the Devon-based BRCA members, the only organisation in Britain to cater to all western riding disciplines such as working with cattle, Reining and Barrel Racing.

Reflecting on the process of her task, Maisie said, "It was a really interesting project to work on. What struck me most was that a lot of the members use their horses for work in their daily lives, not just for the organised events.

"They take cattle out on to Dartmoor and Bodmin, using their horses in the traditional western style, sometimes for as long as eight hours a day."

Many of the elder riders have been trained in the US and Canada, and have brought these styles and techniques across the Atlantic to teach the younger generation. It is a far cry from the scenes at dressage and horse racing events that spring to mind for many when they think of horse riding in the UK, as these events are a more practical display of skill and a blend of American and British culture.

The association organises riding events throughout the year, using an American-influenced rulebook and a grading system completely unique to itself. The aim being to ensure the safety of the rider and viewers, and to keep a set of standards in place and allow novice and expert riders to enter the same competition but compete against others in the same grade bracket.

In terms of the future, Maisie explained, "I've been working on a project called HOME, an in-depth look at multiple generations of family members living under one roof to financially support each other, and the lack of independence this can bring.

"Studying at Falmouth helped me to realise the role of narrative within photography, which I think is very important because it's one thing to create a project, but another to think about its place beyond the walls of the University."

Visit Maisie's website to see more of her photography and varied projects.