Professional Bull Rider

Professional Bull Rider

RodeoGuy

London, ON

Male, 23

I live my life 8-seconds at a time as an adrenaline junkie that goes event to event, matching up against some of the rankest bulls in the world in an 8-second battle for supremacy.

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274 Questions

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Last Answer on April 08, 2014

Best Rated

Do you have a day job or do you support yourself from bull-riding? When you apply for more traditional jobs, are employers intrigued by the bull-riding thing or turned off by it?

Asked by Martachica almost 6 years ago

I have a day job right now, and unless you're at the top level of the sport, you really need a gig to get down the road. Most of the events are summer based, so it's kinda hard to find a complementary seasonal job. The best work is farm or contract work so that we can go 5-days at a time down the road. I think everyone is intrigued by the sport, but eventually, the bosses get concerned over time off for travel and recovery from injuries. Contract work is the way to go for sure. I know quite a few guys that started a new "career", and eventually got to a point of choosing one or the other. For the majority of people in our Sport, we're "weekend warriors", battling all week to battle it out with bulls on the weekend.

What sort of training do novice bullriders get when they're just starting out? Do you start off riding small, less-powerful bulls and gradually work your way up to bigger bulls as you get better?

Asked by ABC almost 6 years ago

In the old days, you would just roll up on an event and ask the guy running it if you could try it out. Or those that have been around the sport all their lives "grow up" with it and climb the ranks. Like kids 6 and under can get their feet wet "riding sheep". At most events they have junior steer riding and/or junior bull riding for those 16 and under, and then there's the real deal. There are many levels from junior rodeo, high school rodeo, amateur level, college and professional, so you can work your way up that way. I fortunately could ride junior bulls for 3 years before getting on the big bulls. It really helps timing, co-ordination, balance and confidence. For anyone trying to get into the sport, the old days are gone, especially with insurance and liabilities. We recommend going to a "school": a 2-3 day weekend clinic where they teach the ground work, review video, get on mechanical bulls, and then ride some stuff that probably won't try to kill you and go from there. But as Bull Riders go, we want to get on the rankest ones around, and that's really the best way to learn. If you "get by" a rank one, you're definitely going to get your experience in and your confidence up.

Jesus, that sounds painful. Do most riding injuries come from when you hit the ground, or from being thrashed about while still on the bull?

Asked by oh_yeah almost 6 years ago

It really depends. The leading injury in Bull Riding is concussion, and that's mostly from slamming into the ground... but, there are so many variables at play at each given moment. Guys smash their faces off of bulls horns while on their back (Tuff Hedemen vs. Bodacious .... smashed his face in. Took 2 surgeries and 13 hours of reconstructive work to put it back together again), and their wrists and arms broken from being hung up, and their ankles and feet broken from being stepped on by a one-ton animal. It can happen on its back, or on the way to the ground. Normally if you get "flung", you're better off... he can't get you while you're in the air or getting away from him. There used to be more rib and spine injuries, but the protective riding vests we wear have limited those injuries a fair bit.

Do a lot of women ride bulls? And do they need a cigarette after each ride? :)

Asked by CRC almost 6 years ago

There are very few women that attempt Bull Riding. It really is a rough sport and you take a beating. Upper body strength is key as well. There was a girl last year that tried to make it up through the ranks of the PBR, and it didn't really work out for her. As romantic as the sport is with the whole Man vs. Beast thing, it really takes a special breed of contender to withstand the toll and struggle that goes with it. I'm sure it would be more enjoyable to horseback ride instead... or save a bull, ride a cowboy.

What's the record for longest bull ride?

Asked by yehawmofo almost 6 years ago

There really isn't a record that I know of in terms of time. Bull Riding is scored out of 100 by 2 or more judges based on a qualified 8-second ride. The criteria is split between Bull and Rider - the Bull: power, kick, drop, direction changes, speed, height of buck and overall difficulty of the ride - the Rider: control, balance, position, exposure to the animal and whether or not we use our spurs (which shows utmost balance/control/exposure). The highest score one can get is 100, and I think there has only been one 100-awarded in the sport. The scoring is really just to decide the winner, and it should be the guy who made the best ride on the most difficult to ride bull. The "perfect score" is still a debate today, mostly because the bulls of today are more rank on the whole as opposed to 1991 (when the perfect score was awarded). It's actually frowned upon if a guy sticks on past the 8-seconds. We have the utmost respect for these beasts, and he did his job, you don't need to be on him any longer than you need to.

How seriously have you been injured while bull-riding and how did it happen?

Asked by oh_yeah almost 6 years ago

Bull Riding is a rough sport, and the adage we use is, "it's not if you get hurt, it's when and how bad...". I've broken my ankle twice, wrist once, smashed at least 8 ribs, fractured my pelvis, have torn my groin on a couple of occasions and have had two major concussions. The worst injury would be the combination of ankle-pelvis-concussion all in one go of 'er. I got bucked off "into the well" (the centre of the bulls spin) away from my riding hand, which meant that I couldn't get my hand out of the rope and was stuck in the middle of a nightmare. As I tried to free my riding hand, the bull hooked me with his horn and threw me onto the other side of him...now the outside of the spin...and somewhere between my hand coming free and me regaining my feet, he hooked me again and then ground his head into my chest and ground me into the ground. The worst part of the wreck was when he tossed me over top of him and I couldn't get my hand out. I missed the rest of the season, but was back riding in about 5 months.

Do you just totally dominate the "mechanical bull" at bars that have one? How close is that experience to the real thing?

Asked by JustinB almost 6 years ago

We try to stay off those... but, being in a bar and guys being guys... The people running them won't let you wear your boots, so you have nothing to grip with. You try to hold on, but with your feet slipping all over the place, your going to get thrown pretty quickly. If they let us wear boots, we'd kick holes in them, haha. There are some similarities in the drop and spin, but the plastic ones in bars are pretty novelty. The best simulator is a "Bucking Barrel", there are a few different high-end models around, and even the traditional method of a drum hung by four ropes is a great way to get balance, reaction and feet movements down.