Bull Riding - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Bull Riding

Rodeo competition, in the beginning, was a natural extension of the daily challenges cowboys confronted on the ranch - roping calves and breaking broncs into saddle horses.

Bull riding, which is intentionally climbing on the back of a 2,000-pound bull, emerged from the fearless and possibly fool-hardy nature of the cowboy. The risks are obvious. Serious injury is always a possibility for those fearless enough to sit astride an animal that literally weighs a ton and is usually equipped with dangerous horns.

Regardless, cowboys do it, fans love it and bull riding ranks as one of rodeo's most popular events.

Bull riding is dangerous and predictably exciting, demanding intense physical prowess, supreme mental toughness and courage. Like bareback and saddle bronc riders, the bull rider may use only one hand to stay aboard during the eight-second ride. If he touches the bull or himself with his free hand, he receives no score. But unlike the other roughstock contestants, bull riders are not required to mark out their animals. While spurring a bull can add to the cowboy's score, riders are commonly judged solely on their ability to stay aboard the twisting, bucking mass of muscle.

Size, agility and power create a danger that makes bull riding a crowd favorite everywhere. Balance, flexibility, coordination, quick reflexes and, perhaps above all, a strong mental attitude are the stuff of which good bull riders are made.

To stay aboard the bull, a rider grasps a flat braided rope, which is wrapped around the bull's chest just behind the front legs and over its withers. One end of the bull rope, called the tail, is threaded through a loop on the other end and tightened around the bull. The rider then wraps the tail around his hand, sometimes weaving it through his fingers to further secure his grip.

Then he nods his head, the chute gate swings open, and he and the bull explode into the arena.

Every bull is unique in its bucking habits. A bull may dart to the left, then to the right, then rear back. Some spin or continuously circle in one spot in the arena. Others add jumps or kicks to their spins, while others might jump and kick in a straight line or move side to side while bucking.

*Courtesy of the PRCA Pro Rodeo Website

RODEO WESTERN WEEK 2014 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday January 10th

12-2pm Miss Rodeo Montana Horsemanship, Fours Seasons Arena, Fairgrounds, Free

5-8pm Great Falls Chamber Pro Rodeo Mixer, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center Free

7pm Cowboy Auction, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center, Free

Friday January 11th

11am-1pm Miss Rodeo Montana Speech Luncheon, Holiday Inn

Noon-2pm Contestant Check-In, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center

2-3pm Contestant Check-In, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center

3-6pm Rodeo Committeeman's Meeting, Heritage Inn Plus, American Room

7pm MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

Saturday January 12th

10:30am MPRF Ranch Rodeo Four Seasons Arena, $10 at the door

Noon - 1:30pm Miss Rodeo Montana Coronation and Luncheon, Hampton Inn

1:30-3pm Kiddie Rodeo by Miss Rodeo Montana, Heritage Inn Plus, Free

2:30 - 3:30pm Cowboy Auction, Heritage Inn, Free

7pm MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

Sunday January 13th

9:30-11:30 Miss Rodeo Montana Coronation, Hampton Inn

10-11am Church Service, Heritage Inn Plus, Britain Room

2pm Tough Enough to Wear Pink MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

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