- Bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. However, it is a very entertaining sport that has recently gained popularity.
- Bull riding has its roots in ancient Mexican equestrian contests and Minoan culture.
- Some countries with the best professional bull riders include the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Canada.
Bull riding is an intense rodeo sport whereby a rider gets on top of a bucking bull and has to remain there for a few seconds.
Bull riding is one of the riskiest sports in the world, and that’s why the time a rider spends on top of the bucking bull is ‘the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.’
Besides being a dangerous sport, bull riding is a very entertaining sport that is gaining popularity.
What Does Bull Riding Entail?
Bull riding has several rules and regulations since it’s a very dangerous sport.
Before a bull is declared fit to perform, it goes through a series of tests to determine its health, age, strength and agility.
During the event, the cowboys are randomly matched with the dangerous animals. However, the best riders are free to choose the bull they want to ride.
The forelegs of the bull are attached to a rope then the rider mounts the beast and holds the braided rope using one hand.
The bull is then set free to the arena, where it starts bucking, and the rider is expected to remain on top for at least eight seconds. He is only allowed to touch the bull with the hand holding the rope. If he touches using the other hand, he is not awarded marks.
Scoring is done by rodeo organizations, mainly the PBR or PRCA. For a rider to receive a score, they have to stay on top of the bull for eight seconds. The score for each competition is 100, 50 coming from the rider and the other 50 from the bull.
Riders get points based on the control they have shown, while the bull gets points based on how it has been disruptive.
History Of Bull Riding
Bull riding has its roots in ancient Mexican equestrian contests and Minoan culture.
Old-time rodeos happened between the southwestern portion of the United States and Mexican parts called Charreadas.
The earliest form of bull riding, known as Jaripeo, developed in Mexico in the 16th century. In this game, riders rode their bulls to death.
However, the game would change years later as the riders started riding their bulls until they stopped bucking.
The sport spread to the United States when Mexican workers moved to work there on the ranches. The diffusion of the sport spread in nearly all parts of the United States over the years.
In the 19th century, bull riding became a popular sport in Texas and California. The sport used to take place on Anglo and Hispanic cattle ranches.
The first American bullfight was held in 1852, and it was a big event that attracted the press from all parts of America.
However, bullfighting received a blow in 1891 as the government banned it because the public started to grow weary of prizefighting and blood sports.
Around the same period, Wild West Shows began to hold steer-riding events. Steer riding was a youth rodeo event that introduced budding cowboys.
In steer riding, the bulls were castrated so they could easily be handled and transported.
Informal rodeos were also held around the same period as competition between the American Old West ranches.
The year when formal rodeo first happened is unclear; some say it was in 1869, while others claim it was in 1872.
However, the very first rodeo using Brahma bulls happened in 1935 in Columbia, Mississippi. It was the first night of the outdoor rodeo.
The Rodeo Cowboy Association was formed in 1936 and later changed its name to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). It holds over 100 rodeos every year.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is another organization which has been holding bull riding events for the past 30 years.
Bull riding is now a popular sport in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Canada. These countries have the best professional bull riders.
As of 2022, there are over 600 cowboys who hold a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) membership. The United States has the highest bull riding reach, followed by Brazil.