Bulls are majestic animals that give off an aura of power and defiance. People in Spain, Mexico and Central and South America still practice the historic pitting of man against bullfighter.
Bullfighting is a spectacle with hordes of loyal fans. But, it is less than a fair fight. Toreadors (professional bullfighters) have help from others in weakening the bull and frustrating it, too. Few bulls can beat a man with a cape after being tormented by clowns and picadors who weaken them using small lances to make the bull bleed.
American Bull Riding is the Real Deal
In contrast to Spanish bullfighting, American bull riding is a true sport that pits a single bull against a lone professional cowboy.
Bull riding is the most popular of all the events that take place in a rodeo, and today, Professional Bull Riding tours in the United States and visits nearly every state.
What Makes Bull Riding So Popular?
Bull riding is a sport that has a champion bull try to throw a bull rider from his back. Bull riders mount bulls that weigh a ton or more and that buck and twist trying to unseat the rider. A bull only has 8 seconds to achieve this.
The pairing of cowboys and bulls is random; rarely riders have a say about the bull they will ride in a specific competition.
The skills that bull riders need to finish the ride include a rope, called a bull rope that is braided with a bell attached to it. The purpose of the bell is that it is a weight that causes the rope to fall off the bull when the ride is complete.
The other important tool is rosin which is a sticky substance that makes their grip on the bull rope better.
Bull riders mount and ride a bull without a saddle. Only their balance, tenacity, and grip get them to the end of the ride atop the bull.
Cowboys can only hold their bull rope with one hand and are forbidden to touch themselves or the bull. Riders who do so receive a no score.
Judges score the ride based on the performance of the rider and the bull. There are two judges. A total score in the 90s is considered good in bull riding. Some US audiences are in for a thrilling, wild, man verse bull experience.