In the sport of bull riding it's pretty common to find spectators that are always either rooting for the bucking bull or rooting for the rider to win the 8-second battle. Essentially that's the whole sport, bull vs. rider. Although, with every bucking bull, comes a bucking bull owner, also known as the stock contractor.
I've had the opportunity to play on both sides of such fence over the past few years. One ride, I'd be rooting like a crazy lady in the stands, nervous as all for my husband, Cord, taking on a 1,200 pound beast. Then the next time I'd be hoping and praying that our bull has a clean exit from the chute, bucks in a way that he is able to receive the most points, that the rider is either awarded a high score for a great ride and/or that he gets away free of injury from an early buckoff. Woo! You catch all of that?
Oh, and I almost forgot, lastly, my worry is that our bulls exit the arena like good boys so they don't have to be roped and pulled out of the arena. Yes, Mr. Bull should know better, but that's not always the case and for the owner there's always a fear of injury. Thankfully, the PBR always has great cowboys on horseback that are capable of properly roping the bulls and are always using their best judgment to keep the show moving as time is a crucial factor.
Furthermore, there have only been a couple occasions that I've had to contain myself from climbing the fence to protect my 'baby boy.' Once again, I catch my maternal instincts for our bulls in full swing. It's a wonder what it's going to be like when I have children, making me more than just a bull mama - I'm desperately going to have to work on not being 'that mom' that makes excuses for every horrible action their child makes and fights all of their child's fights. Too often I catch myself being that way for our stock! Funny enough, however, your emotions can be running quite high when you're on both sides of the fence during a two-hour bull-riding event.
The McCoy's bull, Wedding Bells, had a strong showing in Thackerville, Okla.
Just as different bulls fit different riders better, different riders fit different bulls better. In addition, just as a bull rider is quick to see what bull he drew, a stock contractor is quick to do the same to see what rider their 'four-legged pride and joy' drew. There are obviously short, tall, left-handed and right-handed riders. There are also some riders that like to take extra time in the chutes and some that like to pull their rope a little tighter than others. Then there are obviously bulls that are more accommodating to certain rider's style and talents. All such points can factor into how well both the bull and the rider performs.
We would just as much like to see the rider cover the bull for 8 seconds and be 90 points then go flying into the dirt short of the 8-second mark. Cord knows what coming down early feels like, and I know what it's like to be the wife in the stands sharing in the disappointment. (Granted raising a bull like Bushwacker would be quite an accomplishment.)
However you look at it, Cord and I have had the opportunity to experience both sides firsthand. Bull riding is as equally a business for the rider as bull-raising/owning is a business for the stock contractor. Just the way that a bull rider may choose to focus on healthy nutrition, working out and continuous practice, the same goes for the bulls. We spend several hours daily with the bulls focusing on the exact same points. With all due respect for both sides, clearly it's a competitive sport and everybody wants to win.
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