When most people think of Bull Riding, they usually think of wild rodeo clowns being tossed around by bulls or cruel riders abusing these animals just for fun. But this is far from the truth. Unlike any other entertainment event, there are still countless myths about the sport. Here are five little-known facts to help you understand the extreme world of Bull Riding:
1. Eight seconds of pure adrenaline
The primary objective in Bull Riding seems simple, but it’s actually one of the toughest feats in sports: stay mounted on the bull with one hand in the air for eight seconds without letting go of the rope. Even though it seems like an easy ride, let’s remember that the bull weighs anywhere between 700 and 1000 kg, and the rider has to deal with the bull’s high jumps and turns.
There are three judges that grade the bull rider and the bull. There’s one beside the bullpen that ensures that the bull is in great condition and the other two that judge the bull’s kicks and jumps, as well as the performance of the rider.
2. Bull Riding is a professional sport
Although it was already a popular event at most rodeo events, Bull Riding lacked a standard regulation. This changed when the Cowboy's Turtle Association was created as a result of a collective complaint by cowboys participating in the Boston Garden Rodeo. This new organization boosted the popularity of the recent sport and nine years later, the cowboy society changed its name from the Rodeo Cowboys Association, ending in 1975, to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) which is now the PBR, the highest body of the sport.
3. World’s heaviest and dangerous athletes
In Bull Riding, the cowboys are not the only athletes, the bull itself is also considered an athlete. Genetically the "Plummer" breed was created specifically for this sport. The bulls, that can weigh about a ton, also have to qualify during an event and like the cowboys, the bulls are cared for with rules that watch over their welfare, in which it is strictly forbidden to hurt them and the cowboy can be disqualified for carrying out violent acts against him.