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Features Barrel Racing Ain’t No Bull PHOTOGRAPHER ROBB KENDRICK’S 21st CENTURY COWBOYS


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EDITORS NOTES & NEWS Welcome to the first edition of Western Attitude and its featured pages of “Barrel Racing” and “Ain’t No Bull”, in this first edition we hope to bring you a publication that will offer you a content that will keep you coming back for more. But we are open to ideas and content, to that end we would welcome stories and images from our readers, all you need do is send copy and images to info@redsquarepromotion.com and we will do the rest. When you do you will be automatically entered for our monthly draw for images, stories and copy, and some of what we have received from advertisers and sponsors that month in promotional product will be distributed as prizes to those we feel have the best submissions. If you run or want to promote an event you think would fit within the Western Attitude pages send us a e-mail with the copy and images and we will include it in the publication with your sponsors branding. So don’t delay send it today, for publication next month plus if you would like to advertise within these pages you can use the same e-mail above, we hope you enjoy the read. Also you may know Rico Daniels from the many cable channels his show is on and we are happy to say the “Salvager” will be joining us with his own online active magazine which will be published soon with everything you would expect from the “Salvager” and a whole lot more.

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CONTENTS FOR JUNE PAGE

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CONTENTS FOR JUNE A free Renoir style image “Cowboy at sunset” For you to print or save for your screen PAGE

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RIDERS ENTRY FORM CLASSIFIED AND COUPONS

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COWBOY ATTITUDE Cowboy Attitude

I wasn’t raised on a ranch or a farm A fact that may give some a pause or alarm But I know my way ‘round a stable or barn I’ve lived a strange life as they say The place I was born was in Baltimore City A strange sort’a town that can be rough and gritty Ain't much about it interestin' or pretty No wonder I didn’t stay there When I was a kid I could never relate To my family and neighbors who thought it so great I had to get out, before it’s too late I’d hate to become one of ‘them’ I joined the Navy, soon as I turned seventeen To go out in the world ‘n see what all’s to be seen I cut the cord early, if ya know what I mean ‘Cause I never belonged with that bunch In central Flor’da, I was introduced To cowboy’n one day, while out gettin’ juiced Easy money I thought, to give me a boost We didn’t get paid much back then This fella asked me... "Can you ride a horse?" Without thinkin' 'bout it... I said "Of course" He said "We'll be needin' some drovers in force" So I asked him 'bout what I would do "Just ride the horse ‘n follow the dogs Look out for the snakes ‘n maybe wild hogs Try not to drown or get stuck in the bogs‘n get them cows outta the bush"

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COWBOY ATTITUDE Ropin’ ‘n such., I didn’t know how But they gimme a quirt that they called a romal It’ll make a loud noise when you smack a cow That’s what bein’ a ‘Cracker’s about Two dollars and hour and found was my pay To round up these steers to wherever they’d say I'd meet up with a drover who'd take ‘em away 'Load ‘em up inna truck off the road They were good ol’ boys… mostly, Seminole We’d meet at the time ’n the place I’d been tol’ They’d unload the trailers ‘n we’d mount up ‘n go Spendin’ all day in the scrub When the sun started fadin’ they’d call us all in Lead the horses to trailers ‘n the dogs to their pen In back of the pick-ups they all arrived in Then settle up with my pay A sandwich ‘n coffee with a candy bar snack Was near like a feast when I’d fin’ly get back Along with a beer ’n a stiff shot of Jack Life’s simple when you’re just Eighteen As to who actually owned ‘em, I never did ask They always paid cash for my time at the task Some carried guns, but no black hats or a mask They was rustlers for all that I know In pre-Disney Flor’da along the St John Where the tourists don’t go, you could have you some fun In some dive with a tin roof to shade from the sun ‘n listen to Blues deftly played

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COWBOY ATTITUDE Good ol’ boys, from back in the swamp‘n teenaged sailors always out for a romp Juke box blarin’ Hank Williams, or the Ubangi Stomp‘n there weren’t no shortage of girls Then came 1963 We hadda deploy ‘n go out to sea That flight deck at nite’d be the sure death of me But it wasn’t I’d sailed ‘round the world when I was 21 As a Third Class Aviation Ordnanceman While the guys ‘back home’ ideas for fun Was still the drive-in on Saturday night At 22, I’d been off to war ‘Came home on leave to ol’ Baltimore Oh… I didn’t belong ‘there’ for sure I might as well have come from the Moon I said g’bye ‘n didn’t look back Drove out to my post in an Ordnance Shack TAD out to Yuma, for Fighter Attack Where the desert just blew me away By this time I was 23 A cowboy is what I was wantin’ to be Even rode in a rodeo for people to see But I’d never go do that again (Ow!) But this cowboy stuff hadda be put on hold Went back to Vietnam at 27 years old ‘Lotta stuff in between is left to be told But I reckon that’d take quite awhile

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COWBOY ATTITUDE I was a blue water sailor ‘n an aircrewman too ‘Was not much at all, that I didn’t do When I was 40, I retired from that too That’s when I made the mistake I should have moved west , but thought I'd a debt To some fam’ly in Maryland I wasn’t quit of just yet Then, my wife to be had the best idea I’d heard yet “Arizona?” She never knew, that I’d been here before Or much of my past life back durin’ the war The grin on my face must’a scared her for sure We’d packed up ‘n left inna year Not to, some overpriced HOA tract Where they all look alike ‘n all jammed in a pack But out in the desert, with a pool in the back Surrounded by mountains 'n cactus ‘n trees Picture Rocks ain’t a town, it’s a place on the map Where we live a life free of that citified crap I can relax, with a cat on my lap And damn near just do as I please How can I be a cowboy, if I don’t own a cow Or have my own horses out in the corral I reckon it’s 'attitude'; ‘had that for awhile That’s all there is, that’s left to say She never knew, that I’d been here before Or much of my past life back durin’ the war The grin on my face must’a scared her for sure We’d packed up ‘n left inna year

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COWBOY ATTITUDE Not to, some overpriced HOA tract Where they all look alike ‘n all jammed in a pack But out in the desert, with a pool in the back Surrounded by mountains 'n cactus ‘n trees Picture Rocks ain’t a town, it’s a place on the map Where we live a life free of that citified crap I can relax, with a cat on my lap And damn near just do as I please How can I be a cowboy, if I don’t own a cow Or have my own horses out in the corral I reckon it’s 'attitude'; ‘had that for awhile That’s all there is, that’s left to say

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COWBOY ATTITUDE It all comes down to money, cause there’s never enough With any to spare… the economy’s tough We’ll have a corral ’n tack shed soon enough ‘Cause out here, it’s all ‘Open Range’ A couple of horses ‘n a mule in the pen Would satisfy me ‘n the wife to no end We'd go ridin' out in this desert again Where the west is still wild and free I can watch the hawks and eagles soar Where coyote's sing, least twice a day or more I might'a been born in ol' Baltimore But the desert is where I belong 2010 William E. Shaw Find the original posting here, The True West site http://truewest.ning.com/profiles/blogs/cowboy-attitude

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By the beginning February 2008 photographer Robb Kendrick travelled 41,000 miles searching for cowboys. His six-year quest took him across 14 states, Mexico and Canada. He emerged with a collection of images that seem trapped in time. The men and women featured in his latest book, Still: Cowboys at the Start of the Twenty-First Century, stare out at the page, solemnly, without the slightest hint of movement. These cowboys, with their long twisting moustaches, "taco" rolled-brim hats, bandanas and rawhide lassos look like relics from another era. It's also the photographs themselves that suggest something old as if they were discovered, after decades, hidden in a chest at a ranch. Kendrick's photography method, tintype, implicitly highlights connections to the past. Dating back to the 1850s, the process involves capturing images on a metal plate. Kendrick says he thrived off the primitive nature of the technique. "Prior to digital photo you really pushed yourself because there was always the unknown of 'Did I get it?'" he says. "[With tintype] you work harder because the chemistry is never reacting the same in any environment. You have all these things that are constantly keeping you on your toes and I guess I'm somebody that likes a challenge."

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The work it took to get each one right reminded him of his old love of this craft. Ultimately, this collection shows that the modernday cowboy is not all that different from his ancestors. "Everyone thought the cowboy had died but actually, like any business that wants to survive, the cowboy reality adapts," Kendrick says. "The cowboy has not changed a lot. There is, of course, computers for business, cell phones, ear tagging." It's still one's ability with a horse, a rope and cattle — the same skills that made for a good cowboy more than 100 years ago — that are most critical today, he says. "These people don't live this lifestyle because it's romantic. It just pretty much functions the way it did 150 years ago."

Robb Kendrick (Image) Cliff "Frosty" Foster of J A Ranch in Texas, captured using tintype photography.

Royce Hanson of South Dakota, one of the men Kendrick photographed, seems to agree. "It's just a way of life that comes easy — solitude, God, nature and animals," he says. Kendrick's photographs get at the heart of an approach to life that transcends time and place. "I just want to aggravate a few cows and kick a dog every now and then to stay happy," says Justin Case, another one of his subjects. "If you aren't happy, you are wasting time."

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Robb Kendrick (Image) Beua and Rowdy Hall of Lazy M8 Ranch, Colorado.

John Wright of Nevada.

Quentin Marburger and Cliff "Frosty" Foster, JA Ranch, Texas  Buy the book here http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18592716

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ALL ABOUT BARREL RACING Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Though both boys and girls compete at the youth level and men compete in some amateur venues, in collegiate and professional ranks, it is primarily a rodeo event for women. It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse through a clover leaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena. In timed rodeo events, the purpose is to make a run as fast as possible, while the time is being clocked either by an electronic eye, (a device using a laser system to record times), or by an arena attendant or judge who manually takes the time using a keen eye and a flag to let a clocker know when to hit the timer stop; though this last method is more commonly seen in local and non-professional events. The timer begins when horse and rider cross the start line, and ends when the barrel pattern has been successfully executed and horse and rider cross the finish line. The rider's time depends on several factors, most commonly the horse's physical and mental condition, the rider's horsemanship abilities, and the type of ground or footing (the quality, depth, content, etc. of the sand or dirt in the arena).

HISTORY Barrel racing originally developed as an event for women. While the men roped or rode bulls and broncs, the women barrel raced. In early barrel racing, the pattern alternated between a figure-eight and a cloverleaf pattern. The figure-eight pattern, though, was eventually dropped in favor of the more-difficult cloverleaf. It is believed that Barrel Racing first saw competitive light in the state of Texas. The WPRAwas developed in 1948 by a group of women from Texas who were looking to make a home for themselves and women in general in the sport of rodeo.] When it initially began, the WPRA was called the Girls Rodeo Association, with the acronym GRA. It consisted of only 74 members with as little as 60 approved tour events. The Girls Rodeo Association was the first body of rodeo developed specifically for women. Women were allowed to compete in several events of rodeo. The GRA eventually changed its name and officially became the WPRA in 1981, and the WPRA still allows women to compete in the various rodeo events as they like, but barrel racing remains the most popular event competition 18


ALL ABOUT BARREL RACING The pattern The approach to the first barrel is a critical moment in the life of a successful pattern; the rider must rate their horse's speed at the right moment to enter the correct path to make a perfect turn. The turns in barrel racing should be a relatively even half circle around the barrel. As the horse sets up to take the turn, the rider must be in position as well, which entails sitting deeply in the saddle, using one hand on the horn and the other hand to guide the horse through and around the barrel turn. The rider's legs will be held closely to the horses sides; the leg to the inside of the turn should be held securely along the girth to support the horse's rib cage and give them a focal point for the turn. The athleticism required for this maneuvering comes from optimum physical fitness of the rider and especially the horse. (Improper preparation for such a sport can cause injury to both horse and rider. Injury can be avoided by using the proper protection for both horse and rider.(i.e. protective boots for the horses legs or a back brace for the rider).

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ALL ABOUT BARREL RACING In approaching the second barrel, the rider will be looking through the turn and now focused on the spot to enter the second barrel, which is across the area. Now the horse and rider will go around the barrel in the opposite direction, following exactly the same procedure just switching to the opposite limbs. Next, running toward the backside of the arena (opposite of entrance), and through the middle, they are aiming for the third and final barrel that they must turn, in the same direction as the second barrel was taken. All the while racing against the timer. Completing the third and final turn sends them "heading for home", which represents crossing the timer or line once more to finish. From the finish of the third barrel turn, the horse and rider have a straight shot back down the center of the arena; which means they must stay between the two other barrels. Once the timer is crossed, the clock stops to reveal their race time. Now the "cloverleaf" pattern, the three barrels set in a triangle formation, is completed. Standard barrel racing patterns call for a precise distance between the start line and the first barrel, from the first to the second barrel, and from the second to the third barrel. The pattern from every point of the cloverleaf will have a precisely measured distance from one point to the next. Usually the established distances are as follows: 90 feet between barrel 1 and 2. 105 feet between barrel 1 and 3 and between 2 and 3. 60 feet from barrels 1 and 2 to score line. Note: In a standard WPRA pattern, the score line begins at the plane of arena, meaning from fence to fence regardless of the position of the electric eye or timer. In larger arenas, there is a maximum allowable distance of 105 feet between barrels 1 and 2; and a maximum distance of 120 feet between barrels 2 and 3, and 1 and 3. Barrels 1 and 2 must be at least 18 feet from the sides of the arena—in smaller arenas this distance may be less, but in no instance should the barrels be any closer than 15 feet from the sides of the arena.

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ALL ABOUT BARREL RACING Barrel 3 should be no closer than 25 feet to the end of the arena, and should be set no more than 15 feet longer than the first and second barrel. If arena size permits, barrels must be set 60 feet or further apart. In small arenas it is recommended the pattern be reduced proportionately to a standard barrel pattern. The above pattern is the set pattern for the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), and The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). The National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) use the following layout for governing patterns: A minimum of 15 feet between each of the first two barrels and the side fence. A minimum of 30 feet between the third barrel and the back fence. A minimum of 30 feet between the time line and the first barrel. The fastest time will win.

Rules Barrel racing In Barrel Racing, the fastest time will win. It is not judged under any subjective points of view, only the clock. Barrel Racers in competition at the professional level must pay attention to detail while maneuvering at high speeds. Precise control is required to win. Running past a barrel and off the pattern will result in a "no time" score and disqualification. If a barrel racer or her horse hits a barrel and knocks it over there is a time penalty of five seconds, which usually will result in a time too slow to win. There is a sixty second time limit to complete the course after time begins. Contestants cannot be required to start a run from an off-centre alleyway, but contestants are not allowed to enter the arena and "set" the horse. It is required that the arena is "worked" after twelve contestants have run and before slack. Barrels are required to be fifty-five gallons, metal, enclosed at both ends, and be at least two colors. Competitors in the National Barrel Racing Association (NBRA) are required to wear a western long-sleeved shirt (tucked in), western cut pants or jeans, western hat, and boots. Competitors are required to abide by this dress code beginning one hour before the competition and lasting until after slack.[6] 22


Associations and Sanctioning Bodies Since its beginnings, the sport has developed over the years into a highly organized, exciting, but well-governed sport. Several organizations govern barrel racing. the main sanctioning body of professional female rodeo athletes, governing events broadcast on ESPN and other sports broadcasts, is the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). Today, the WPRA boasts a total of over 800 sanctioned tour events with an annual payout of more than a three million dollars. The WPRA is divided into 12 divisional circuits. Average and overall winners from their circuit compete at the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (DNCFR).

Tack and Equipment There are several different types of bits that are used in barrel racing, there are no specific bits required for barrel racing, though there are bits that are more common to barrel racers. The type of bit used is determined by an individual horse's needs. Bits with longer shanks cause the horse to stop quicker than normal, while bits with shorter shanks are used for more lateral work. Bits with twisted mouthpieces are used for horses that a rider has to put a lot of effort in to turn. Chain mouthpieces can be used for shoulder control, rating, and help with the turn, while solid mouthpieces can be used on horses with too much turn. Curb chains, nosebands,and tie-downs can be used in conjunction with the bit. Nosebands come in rope, wire, or chain and are used by the rider to exert more control over the horse. Curb chains are primarily used for rate. Tie-downs give the horse a sens of security when stopping and turning.[7] Typically, reins used in barrel racing competitions are fully intact. This allows the rider the ability to quickly recover the reins if dropped, unlike split reins. Martha Josey Knot reins are popular within the barrel racing community because of the knots in the rope that allow for a better grip. The reins are also adjustable, making them an ideal choice for competitors of all sizes. Leather reins are also widely used. These can be flat or braided, but both varieties have a tendency to become slippery when wet. Wax reins are also available, but not as widely used due to the fact that they become sticky.[8] A lightweight saddle with a high horn and cantle is ideal. Forward strung stirrups also help to keep the rider's feet in proper position. Typically, riders choose a saddle that is up to a full size smaller than he or she would normally use. Most importantly, it must fit the rider's horse properly. Saddle pads and cinches are chosen based on the horse's size.[9] Costs for the purchase of a high caliber barrel racing horse can currently reach well over the $100,000 mark depending on the ability and individuality of the horse. While breeding plays a huge role in the sale price of a horse, athletic ability, intelligence, drive, and willingness to please also “make or break� the sale of a horse.

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BULL RIDING STORY The taming of bulls has ancient roots in contests dating as far back as Minoan culture. Bull riding itself has its direct roots in Mexican contests of equestrian and ranching skills now collectively known as charreada. During the 16th century, a hacienda contest called jaripeo developed. Originally considered a variant of bull fighting, in which riders literally rode a bull to death, the competition evolved into a form where the bull was simply ridden until it stopped bucking. By the mid-19th century, charreada competition was popular on Texas and California cattle ranches where Anglo and Hispanic ranch hands often worked together. Many early Texas rangers, who had to be expert horsemen and later went on to become ranchers, learned and adapted Hispanic techniques and traditions to ranches in the United States. Many also enjoyed traditional Mexican celebrations, and H. L. Kinney, a rancher, promoter and former Texas Ranger staged what is thought to be the first Anglo-American organized bullfight in the southwest in 1852. This event also included a jaripeo competition and was the subject of newspaper reports from as far away as the New Orleans Daily Delta. However, popular sentiment shifted away from various blood sports and both bull fighting and prize fighting were banned by the Texas legislature in 1891. 30

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BULL RIDING STORY In the same time period, however, Wild West Shows began to add steer riding to their exhibitions, choosing to use castrated animals because steers were easier to handle and transport than bulls. Additionally, informal rodeos began as competitions between neighboring ranches in the American Old West. The location of the first formal Rodeo is a debated. Deer Trail, Colorado claims the first rodeo in 1869 but so does Cheyenne, WY in 1872. Although steer riding contests existed into the 1920s, the sport did not gain popularity until bulls were returned to the arena and replaced steers as the mount of choice. A pivotal moment for modern bull riding, and rodeo in general, came with the founding of the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) in 1936, which later became the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Through this organization many hundreds of rodeos are held each year. Since that time, the popularity of all aspects of the rodeo has risen. In 1994 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. From these roots, bull riding as a competitive sport has spread to a number of other nations worldwide.

Rules and regulations Each bull has a unique name and number used 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, although starting in 2008, some ranked riders are allowed to choose their own bulls from a bull draft for selected rounds in PBR events. A rider mounts a bull and grips a flat braided rope. After he secures a good grip on the rope, the rider nods to signal he is ready. The bucking chute (a small enclosure which opens from the side) 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 bucks, rears, kicks, spins, and twists in an effort to throw the rider off. his continues for a number of seconds until the rider bucks off or dismounts after completing his ride. A loud buzzer announces the completion of an eight second ride.

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SEND IN THE CLOWNS Throughout the ride, bullfighters, also popularly known as rodeo clowns stay near the bull in order to aid the rider if necessary. When the ride ends, either intentionally or not, the bullfighters distract the bull to protect the rider from harm. Many competitions have a format that involves multiple rounds, sometimes called "Go-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 the first or first two go rounds, the top 20 riders 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. Both the rider and the bull are awarded points. There are usually two judges, each judge scoring the bull from 0-25 points, and the rider from 0-25 points. The combined point totals from both judges make up the final score for the ride. 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. Many experienced professionals are able to gain scores of 75 or more. A score above 80 is considered excellent, and a score in the 90s exceptional. Judges award points based on several key Bull riding at the Calgary Stampede. The "bullfighter" or "rodeo clown" is standing just to the right of the bull aspects of the ride. Judges look for constant control and rhythm in the rider in matching his movements with the bull. 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 can be disqualified for touching the bull, the rope, or themselves with their free arm. 33


BULL RIDING STORY Bulls have more raw power and a different style of movement from bucking horses. One special move the bull sometimes tries is a belly roll or "Sunfishing"; this is when a bull is completely off the ground and kicks either his hind feet or all four feet to the side in a twisting, rolling motion. They also are more likely to spin in tight, quick circles. Bulls are less likely to run or to jump extremely high and "break in two" than horses. For the bull, judges look at 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, more points will be awarded. If a rider fails to stay mounted for at least 8 seconds the bull is still awarded points. 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 "Bucking Bull of the Year" award, decided by scores and the number of riders it has bucked off. The awards brings prestige to the ranch where the bull was raised. If a rider scores low due to poor bull performance, the judges may offer the rider the option of a re-ride. By taking the option, the rider gives up the score received, 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. A re-ride may be given if a bull stumbles or runs into the fence as well. 34


BULL RIDING STORY 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 centre 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. In addition to the sound the bell produces, 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 colouring and patterns add flair to the sport. Usually made of leather, chaps also provide protection for the rider's legs and thighs.

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BULL RIDING STORY Bull riders are required to wear a protective vest, but most usually wear one made of high impact foam that allows the shock to disperse over a wide area, thereby reducing pain and injury. To prevent a rope burn, riders must wear a protective glove, usually of leather. This glove must be fastened to the riders hand since the force the animal is able to exert could tear the glove away. The rider often applies rosin to the glove, which allows for additional grip. Cowboy boots are also worn. The dull spurs help in keeping a rider balanced, and are crucial to the sport as a whole. The bulls are unharmed by the rowels, as their hide is roughly seven times thicker than a human being's skin. Truly skilled riders will often "spur" the bull in the hope of achieving extra style points from the judges. Cowboy hats remain the primary headwear used. While the professional organizations permit protective helmets and masks, some riders continue to believe that this equipment can detrimentally affect balance, and many professionals still avoid wearing them. However, the trend is changing, as more champion riders begin to wear helmets for added safety. For competitors under the age of 18, protective headgear incorporating a Helmet and ice hockey-style face mask are worn. While optional at the upper levels of the sport, it has become mandatory at younger levels, and riders who use helmets and face masks as youths tend to continue to wearing them as they reach adulthood and turn professional.

Bull equipment The flank strap is a rope made out of cotton which is tied around the bull's flank. Contrary to popular belief, the flank strap is not tied around the bull's testicles. This rope is to encourage the bull to use its hind legs more in a bucking motion, as this is a true test of a riders skill in maintaining the ride. If it is applied improperly a rider may request to ride again, as the bull will not buck well if the flank strap is too tight. The flank strap is applied by the stock contractor 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 is a large, open area that gives the bulls, bull riders, and bull fighters plenty of room to maneuver. The area is fenced, usually 6 to 7 feet high, to protect the audience from escaped bulls. There are generally exits on each corner of the arena for riders to get out of the way quickly. 36


BULL RIDING STORY Riders can also hop onto the fence to avoid danger. One end of the arena contains the bucking chutes from which the bulls are released. There is also an exit chute where the bulls can exit the arena.

North America In the United States and Canada, most professional bull riders start out riding in High School Rodeo or other junior associations. From there, riders may go on the college rodeo circuit or to one of several semi-pro associations including the Southern States Bull Riding Association (SSBR), the North American Bull Riding Association (NABA), the International Bull Riders Association (IBR) and the Professional Championship Bull Riding Tour (PCB). The top bull riders from the semi-pro associations are eligible to participate in the National Bull Riders Series Finals (NBR). The NBR bulls are provided by the Professional Bucking Bull Association (PBBA). Bull riders compete at these events as they are climbing the ladder to the professional ranks and to supplement their income.

Australia and New Zealand There are approximately 200 rodeos and bushmen's carnivals held annually across Australia. At most of these events bull riding is one of the featured competitions. Initially bullocks and steers were used for rough riding events and these were owned by local graziers that lent them for these events. Nowadays bulls are used for the open events andstock contractors supply the various roughriding associations. Contract stock has produced a more uniform range of bucking stock which is also quieter to handle. The competitions are run and scored in a similar style to that used in the United States. In May 1992 the National Rodeo Council of Australia (NRCA) was formed to promote and further the sport of rodeo and has represented the following associations, which also control bull riding: • • • • • • • • •

Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association (ABCRA) Australian Professional Bull Riders Association (APBA) Central Rodeo Cowboys Association (CRCA) Indigenous Rodeo Riders Australia (IRRA) National Student Rodeo Association (NSRA) National Rodeo Association (NRA) Northern Cowboys Association (NCA) Queensland Rodeo Association (QRA) Rodeo Services Association (RSA) 37


BULL RIDING STORY There are strict standards for the selection, care and treatment of rodeo livestock, arenas, plus equipment requirements and specifications. Chainsaw was one of Australia's most famous bucking bulls. Only nine contestants scored on him and he won the Australian national title of Bull of the Year a world record eight times during 1987 to 1994.

Some of Australia’s best bull riders travel and compete internationally in Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Some of Australia's leading bull riders conduct bull riding clinics to assist learners and novice riders. A World Challenge of Professional Bull Riders (PBR) was held on 29 May 2010 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre (BEC). The 2010 PBR Finals were held over two nights at theAustralian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), with five top-ranked professional bull riders from the United States and 25 of Australia’s best bull riders contesting the event. Rodeo is also popular in country regions of New Zealand where approximately 32 rodeos, which include bull riding contests, are held each summer. 38


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