Rodeo Attitude News: Bull Riding
10/11/2011 10:59 PM
No room for error in the PBR's Hartford Invitational
Brazil's Fabiano Vieira has to go five-for-five at the Hartford Invitational to fend off Douglas Duncan and win the weekend

10/10/2011 12:42 AM
Lostroh and Duncan each take a round in PBR's Hartford Invitational, but only one rider goes three-for-three
Kody Lostroh wins round two of Hartford Invitational and Douglas Duncan wins short-go, but Brazilian Fabiano Vieira is the only rider to go 3-for-3

10/09/2011 12:21 AM
PBR bull riders in Hartford fight for spot in World Finals but the night belongs to Luke
PBR Bull riders battle to land a spot in the Top 40 and a trip to Vegas, but round one of the Hartford Invitational blongs to veteran Luke Snyder

03/22/2011 06:08 PM
Professional Bull Riders
Upcoming Events - All tours

01/15/2011 10:45 AM
First Frontier Circuit kicks off finals at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
The snow in the northeast lets up to give contestants in the First Frontier Circuit a clear start to their finals

01/14/2011 04:54 PM
PBR returns to Sacramento on Jan. 14-15
Five World Champions, Hollister’s Clark scheduled to compete...

01/14/2011 04:37 PM
Denver Chute Out bull riding, third performance
Denver Chute Out Pays International Bull Riders...

01/13/2011 11:38 PM
Elliott on demand
Nebraska cowboy begins video blogs on Facebook...

01/13/2011 11:32 PM
Gangster's paradise
New York becomes a showcase for Robinson bull...

01/13/2011 11:17 PM
National Western Stock show Denver Chute Out, second performance
Denver Chute Out Finds McCoy in the Winners Circle...

01/13/2011 11:23 PM
The entertainer's new clothes
Rasmussen wows Gotham crowd with antics, jeggings...

01/13/2011 11:01 PM
National Western Stock Show bull riding, first performance
McCoy Takes the Lead at Denver Chute Out...

01/13/2011 10:54 PM
The final word: New York
‘Total domination’...

01/13/2011 10:53 PM
Behind the chutes: New York
‘We seem to click a bit, me and the fans’...

01/12/2011 09:37 AM
Top riders visit Colorado for PBR development tour
World Champions scheduled to compete in Denver, Pueblo...

01/11/2011 08:41 PM
National Western Stock Show rodeo, second performance
A novice bareback rider from Ponoka, Alberta has had the most success at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo so far....

01/11/2011 08:34 PM
National Western Stock show Rodeo honors Wounded Warriors
The second performance of the 105th annual National Western Stock Show Rodeo was a special one for rodeo competitors, personnel and fans attending.....

01/11/2011 08:25 PM
PRCA World Standings as of January 10, 2010
San Antonio's annual Cowboy Golf Classic to again benefit JCCF; PRCA milestones aplenty to watch for in the weeks ahead; Ute Stampede honors Utah Wrangler NFR contestants; Upcoming Events and more...

01/11/2011 08:22 PM
PRCA News and Notes - January 10, 2010
The plan over the last three years at Texas A&M was for Jacobs Crawley to lay the groundwork on two career paths, to complete work on his degree in industrial and systems engineering while also working his way toward the top ranks of professional ...

01/12/2011 09:34 AM
2011 PBR Begins With International Bang
Oliveira, Jones ride five-for-five in Madison Square Garden...

More News/Headlines
Get Skills in Bullriding
This DVD by the Ironman himself,, J. W. Hart, goes from basics to more advanced techniques. The producer of this educational DVD is a Merchant Member of the Rodeo Attitude Program and we endorese this DVD.

PBR Bullriding 101
Short video of Ty Murray explaining bullriding basics.

PBR Bullriding 101
Short video of Ty Murray giving the basics of bullriding.

PBR Bullriding Equipment
PBR Bullriding Equipment Information

Mary Akin - Lee's wife's blog
Weatherford, Texas

Mechanical Bull Rental
Rafter J Mechanical Bulls is a family owned and operated business established in 2002 by Jim and Mary Ann Nolan.

Toughest Cowboy
Each event has 8 cowboys, 3 events, and 1 champion! Bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding!


Berry, Brandon
Winnfield, Louisiana

Campbell, Jordie

Custer, Cody
Wickenburg, Arizona

Davis, Corey Montana
New Bloomfield, Missouri

Davis, Jerome
Archdale, North Carolina

Elliott, Dustin
North Platte, Nebraska

Ephrom, Dusty

Mauney, JB
Mooresville, North Carolina

Mendes, Scott
Weatherford, Texas

Newberry, Jody
Ada, Oklahoma

Petersen, Wiley
Fort Hall, Idaho

Reynalds, Seth
Lockwood, Missouri

Ropp, Willy
Trenton, Missouri

Sasse, Craig
St. Peters, Illinois

Sellers, Travis
Wentzville, Missouri

Shumard, JC
Shelbina, Missouri

Stevens, Cody
Welch, Oklahoma

Twedt, Jimmy
Ellsworth, Iowa

West, Terry Don
Henryetta, Oklahoma

Williams, Clayton
Carthage, Texas

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Bull Riding is a sport that involves a rider getting on a large male bovine, and attempting to stay mounted for at least 8 seconds. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is perhaps the most famed of all the rodeo sports.

As a major component of rodeo, bull riding is generally thought to have been born in 1864 when two groups of cowboys from neighboring ranches met in Deer Trail, Colorado. The meeting was arranged to settle a dispute over which group was best at general ranch tasks. From this simple competition, rodeo was born. Of course, since then the sports have much evolved, the showmanship and highly competitive nature of the games have never wavered.

A pivotal moment for modern bull riding, and rodeo in general, came the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) then the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Through this organization many hundreds of rodeos are organized and held each year. Since that time, the popularity of all aspects of the rodeo has risen. In 1995, a separate organization was formed for bull riding alone: The Professional Bull Riders (PBR), which stages a large number of events including the annual PBR World Finals held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most professional bull riders start out riding in high school NHSRA and or junior associations. There are several semi-pro associations including the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association (SEBRA) and the North American Bull Riding Association (NABA). Bull riders compete at these events as they are climbing the ladder to the PBR and to supplement their income.

The Sport
Each bull has a unique name and number that the rider and spectators can use to identify the bull. A sufficient number of bulls, each judged to be of good strength, health, agility, and age are selected to perform. The rider and bull are matched randomly before the competition.

A rider mounts a bull gripping a braided rope, and after he fastens the rope the rider announces he is ready. The bucking chute (a small enclosure which opens at the front) is opened and the bull storms out into the arena. The rider must attempt to stay on the bull for at least eight seconds, while only touching the bull with his riding hand. His other hand must remain free for the duration of the ride.

The bull rears, kicks, turns, and rolls in an effort throw the rider off his back. This process continues for a number of seconds until the rider bucks off or unties after completing his ride. The rider knows when his eight seconds are up when he hears a loud buzzer.

Throughout the ride bull fighters move about the bull in an effort to influence its movements and enhance the ride. When the ride ends, either intentionally or not, the bull fighters move in to protect the rider from any potential harm.

Many competitions have a format that involves multiple rounds. Generally, events span two to three nights. The rider is given a chance to ride one bull per night. The total points scored by the end of the event are recorded, and after all riders have rode once on the final night, the top riders in the event are given a chance to ride one more bull. This final round is called the "Short go". After the end of the short go, the rider with the most total points wins the event.

Points and Scoring
The ride is scored from 0-100 points. As two athletes are involved in the game (the bull and the rider), both the rider and the bull are awarded points. There are usually two judges, and each judge scores the bull from 0-25 points, and the rider from 0-25 points. It is the combined point totals of both judges that makes up the final score for the ride. A perfect score (for both the bull and the rider) from one judge would equal 50 points, and a perfect score from both judges would equal 100 points. Scores of zero are quite common as a lot of riders lose control of the animal almost immediately after the bull rages out of the bucking chute. However, many experienced professionals are able to gain scores of 75 or more. A score above 80 is considered exceptional, and a score in the 90s excellent.

Judges award points based on several key aspects of the ride. Judges look for constant control and rhythm in the rider in matching his movements with the bulls, points are usually deducted if a rider is constantly off-balance. For points to actually be awarded the rider must stay mounted for a minimum of 8 seconds, and is only scored for his actions during those 8 seconds. The ability to control the bull well allows riders to gain extra "style" points, these are often gained by spurring the animal. A rider is disqualified if he touches the bull, the rope, or himself, with his free arm.

For the bull, judges look the animal's overall agility, power and speed, its back end kicks and front end drops. Simply put, if a bull gives a rider a very hard time, a good number of points will be awarded. If a rider fails to stay mounted for at least 8 seconds, the bull is still awarded points. One special move the bull sometimes tries is a belly roll; this is when a bull is completely off the ground and kicks either his hind feet or all four feet to the side.

The PBR and the PRCA record a bull's past scores so that the best bulls can be brought to the finals. This ensures that riders will be given a chance to score highly. The PBR also awards one bull the "Buckin' Bull of the Year" award, decided by scores and the amount of riders it has bucked off. The awards brings a lot of prestige to the ranch at which the bull was raised.

If a rider scores lowly due to a poor bull performance, some rodeo events will award the rider a re-ride option. By taking the option, the rider gives up the score received and waits until all other riders have ridden, and rides again. This can be risky, because the rider loses his score and risks bucking off and receiving no score. There is also a chance that a re-ride will be awarded if a bull stumbles or runs into the rodeo fence.

Rider Equipment
At first sight, there doesn't appear to be much in the way of equipment used during a bull ride. However, riders use many pieces of equipment both functionally and to ensure maximum safety, both to themselves and to the animals involved.

The primary piece of equipment used is the bull rope. The bull rope is a braided rope of polypropylene, grass, or some combination. A handle is braided into the center of the rope and is usually stiffened with leather. One side of the rope is tied in an adjustable knot that can be changed for the size of bull. The other side of the rope (the tail) is a flat braid and is usually coated with rosin to keep it from sliding through the rider's hand. A metallic bell is strapped to the knot and hangs directly under the bull throughout the ride. Besides the noise the bell gives off it also gives the rope some weight, allowing it to fall off the bull once a rider has dismounted.

Chaps are probably the most noticeable piece of bull rider clothing, as their distinctive coloring and patterns add a great deal of flare to the sport. Usually made of leather, chaps also provide a great deal of protection for the rider's legs and thighs.

Bull Riders may wear a protective vest, usually made out of hard material that allows the shock to disperse the pressure over a wide area, thereby reducing pain and chances of injury.

To prevent rope burn riders must wear a protective glove, usually composed of leather. This glove must actually be fastened to the riders hand due to the sheer force the animal is able to exert could tear the glove away. The rider often applies rosin to the glove, which allows for a marginal amount of extra grip.

Cowboy boots are also worn, and are almost always fitted with a special type of heel to secure spurs in place. The spurs help greatly in keeping a rider balanced, and are crucial to the sport as a whole. The bulls are unharmed by spurs, as their hide is roughly seven times thicker than a human being's skin. Truly skilled riders will often "spur" the bull, this action is often performed in the hope of achieving extra style points from the judges.

Contrary to what many think, cowboy hats are not simply a traditional piece of wear for show. Most riders wear cowboy hats as they offer a decent amount of protection from any trampling to the skull. These hats remain the primary headwear used. While the professional organizations permit helmets and masks, many riders believe that this equipment can detrimentally affect balance. As such most professionals avoid wearing them. The trend is changing, however, as more champion riders wear helmets because of the added safety.

Bull Equipment
This bull is still wearing the black bucking strap.

The flank strap is another rope made of either nylon rope or sheepskin and leather which is tied around the bull's midsection also known as its flank . The purpose for this rope is to encourage the bull to use its hind legs more in a bucking motion by irritating the sensitive underside of the bull, as this is a true test of a riders skill in maintaining the ride. The flank strap is unique in that if it is applied improperly (i.e., tied too tightly) a rider may request to ride again. The flank strap is applied by the stock contractor (who owns the bull) or his designate.

The Arena
The arenas used in professional bull riding vary. Some are rodeo arenas that are used only for bull riding and other rodeo events. Others are event centers that play host to many different sports. Common to all arenas though is a large, open area that gives the bulls, bull riders, and bull fighters (people who protect the athletes after they dismount) plenty of room to maneuver. A large 6-7 foot high steel fences is placed around the dirt field in order to protect the audience from rogue bulls. There are generally exits on each corner of the arena for riders to get out of the way quickly. Riders can also hop onto the fence to avoid danger. One end of the arena contains the bucking chutes, or the chutes from which the bulls are released. There is also an exit chute where the bulls can exit the arena.

There is a heated debate between animal rights organizations and bull riding enthusiasts over many aspects of the sport. Critics claim that the flank strap encircles or otherwise binds the testicles of the bull to make it mad and further enhance its bucking. Supports rebute that this is untrue and unrealistic and that if this were the case the bull would probably not want to move at all. Critics also claim that spurs and hot rods injure and torture the bulls while supporters claim that they are only a moderate irritation due to the thickness of the animal's hide.

In Pop Culture
Bull riding is a growing sport in pop culture in the past decade, in 1994 8 Seconds a movie featuring Luke Perry was released based on the legendary bull rider Lane Frost.

PBR has brought Bull Riding to just about anyone by broadcasting it on the channel Versus (Previously the Outdoor Life Network). Bull Riders are becoming celebrities like those in other sports. Some of the more famous names include Justin Mcbride, and Ross Coleman. Some of these more famous bull riders have filmed commercials, and even have toy collectables modeled after them.

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