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Rodeos most dangerous event
In a time when action-packed, adrenalin-filled extreme sports are the latest craze,
it only seems natural that bull riding would become rodeos most
The risks are obvious. Serious injury is always a possibility for those
fearless or foolish enough to sit astride an animal that weighs a ton
and is usually equipped with dangerous horns.
But cowboys do it and fans love it.
Bull riding is dangerous and predictably exciting, demanding intense physical
prowess and supreme mental toughness.
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
events, bull riders are not required to mark out their animals. While
spurring a bull can add to the cowboys score, riders are commonly
judged on their ability to stay aboard the twisting, bucking ton of muscle
Balance, flexibility, coordination, quick reflexes and a good mental attitude
are the stuff of which good bull riders are made.
To stay aboard the bull, a rider uses a flat braided rope, which is wrapped
around the barrel of the bulls 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 style. 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
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