I sometimes find myself wondering, “Why exactly would someone do that?” But for many, bull riding is the premier rodeo event.
Here’s what happens. Before the competition even starts, the riders and bulls are matched randomly. Each bull has a unique name and number and are each judged to be of good strength, health, agility, and age.
Once the event begins, a rider mounts a bull and grips a flat braided rope. After he secures a good grip on the rope, the rider nods to signal he is ready. The bucking chute (a small enclosure, which opens from the side) is opened and the bull storms out into the arena. This is where I start holding my breath.
The rider must attempt to stay on the bull for at least eight seconds, while only touching the bull with his riding hand. His other hand must remain free for the entire ride.
The bull bucks, rears, kicks, spins, and twists in an effort to throw the rider off. This continues for a number of seconds until the rider bucks off or dismounts after completing his ride. A loud buzzer acknowledges the completion of an eight second ride. Exhale.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmxtHv6WpR0]Throughout the ride, bullfighters, also known as “rodeo clowns” stay near the bull aiding the rider if necessary. When the ride ends, either intentionally or otherwise, the bullfighters distract the bull to protect the rider from harm.
After the cowboy picks himself up and exits the arena, the bull is guided out as well. The ride is then scored from 0-100 points. Both the rider and the bull are awarded points. There are usually two judges, each judge scoring the bull from 0-25 points, and the rider from 0-25 points. The combined point totals from both judges make up the final score for the ride.
Scores of zero are actually quite common as a lot of riders lose control of the animal almost immediately after the bull rages out of the bucking chute. Many experienced professionals are able to gain scores of 75 or more. A score above 80 is considered excellent, and a score in the 90s exceptional.
When you join us this summer at the T Cross, we never miss the Friday Night Rodeo in Dubois. By the time you leave, you’ll be able to boast to your coworkers and friends how incredible (or incredibly scary) the bull riding rodeo event was for you and your family. Book today!