The most popular rodeo riding event and the most dangerous. A loose rope straps a man's hand to a tonne of explosive power. Because the cowboy never knows what the animal beneath him is going to do next, he must draw upon his sharpest mental and physical abilities when trying to conquer this twisting tornado. To keep his position and balance, a bull rider is constantly grabbing for new holds with his feet and continually pulling up on the rope. The more powerfully a bull bucks and the faster he spins the more points the ride is worth.
A very demanding event for the competitor. From the moment the gate swings open and the horse and rider explode from the chute, both must perform exceptionally well if the cowboy is to win. A suit-case like handle is attached to the top of the leather rigging, cinched around the horse's middle. The contestant grips this handle with one hand, keeps his other free and high in the air. Ideally bareback riders want to try to spur the horse on each jump, reaching as far forward as they can with their feet, then jerking their spurs upwards towards the rigging.
Considered the classic rodeo event, this competition is definitely not for beginners. There is a reason - the instinctive reactions required to keep in the stirrups, sense what the horse will do next and the ability to synchronise with the bronc's movement- make this event one with no substitute for years of experience. Since there in nothing solid to hold on to, a cowboy can only stay in the saddle through timing and balance. The proven rider deliberately matches his spurring strides with the bucking bronc's rhythm beneath him making the whole ride appear smooth.
LADIES BARREL RACE
The all female event that tests the speed and agility of both cowgirl and horse. The horses ridden in the event are highly trained and extremely athletic, matching their speed and turns to the cues given by the riders. The clock is set in motion when the girl and the horse cross the starting line and is stopped when she recrosses the line after completing her run. The colourful rider and her mount must make two turns in one direction and one in the other around the three barrels. These barrels are set in a triangular pattern, a prescribed distance apart. Winners are on many occasions determined by differences of hundredths of a second. So the five second penalty for an overturned barrel can be devastating. This event is certainly one of sheer elegance and precise timing.