Bulls are rocky rides

Riders try to stay on animals for eight seconds

Posted 6/4/18

The announcer at the June 1 Xtreme Bulls event at the Elizabeth Stampede told the crowd the riders would be tested because the stock contractors brought 50 of the hardest-bucking, badest bulls to the …

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Bulls are rocky rides

Riders try to stay on animals for eight seconds

Posted

The announcer at the June 1 Xtreme Bulls event at the Elizabeth Stampede told the crowd the riders would be tested because the stock contractors brought 50 of the hardest-bucking, badest bulls to the event.

His prediction about the bulls came true. To receive a score the rider has to stay on the bull for eight seconds without his free hand touching the bull or his equipment. After the first five times the chute opened, the score was bulls five, cowboys zero.

Bull rider Brandon Olson said is maintaining a family tradition by riding bulls.

“My dad rode bulls for about more than 20 years and I guess I always wanted to ride bulls, too,” the Franktown resident said. “I started riding junior bulls and steers when I was about 8 and then moved to bulls when I got older. I have been a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for the last four years”

Olson is going to school at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely and stays in shape to ride bulls.

“We have a college rodeo team at Rangely and I ride practice bulls as often as I can,” he said. “We also work out and spent a lot of time in the gym. We work to build endurance and we lift weights. I lift weights to strengthen the grip in my right hand as well as to strengthen my right arm and my legs.”

Olson won the Xtreme Bulls event last year with a score of 81. This year he drew a bull named 71 Milk Man and wasn’t able to stay atop the animal until the eight-second horn sounded.

Bull riding is described as the most dangerous sport in rodeo competition as a rider climbs on the back and remain astride of a full-grown bull weighing 1.000 pounds or more that doesn’t want a rider.

Olson agreed that bull riding is a dangerous sport and he said he has suffered some broken bones.

“I can’t give you a count of the bones I have broken riding bulls,” he said. “I have broken a number of ribs, broken an arm and broken a leg. But as soon as I heal I get back on the bull. Bull riding is the only thing I really want to do and I plan to stay with it as long as I am able.”

When he gets on a bull, the cowboy’s only way to stay on the animal is to grip the sides of the bull with his legs as he holds on to a braided rigging wrapped around the bull. The rigging has a braided handle for the rider’s hand and the cowboy wraps the remainder of the rigging around his wrist and into the hand in the grip.

When he is ready, the cowboy signals the ground team, the gate swings open and the bull and his rider explode into the arena. The bull bucks by kicking his hind legs high in the air, spins and twists, trying to unseat the rider.

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