How Much Do You Know About Professional Bull Riding?

By: Torrance Grey

What larger exhibition sport is bull riding part of?

True, some people do not consider rodeo a sport. But saying that rodeo competitors "aren't really athletes" is an excellent way to make bull riders very annoyed.

How long is a successful ride?

That probably sounds very brief to a person attending his or her first rodeo. But you can imagine how long it feels to the rider!

Which of these is a professional bull riding organization?

These are the major organizations created solely to oversee professional bull riding events. There are other organizations devoted to rodeo sports in general, including the Professional Rodeo Championship Association.

The confining space in which the rider mounts the bull is called the _____.

This is where the phrase "out of the chute" comes from. "Right out of the chute" means "from the get-go" or "from the very beginning."

How long does the rider have to get settled on the bull before the ride begins?

The officials wait for the rider to nod that he is ready before opening the chute. Of course, this shouldn't take a veteran rider very long.

True or false: Do some bull riders wear helmets?

This form of protective gear is increasingly accepted in bull riding. No amount of psychological toughness is going to protect a rider from head trauma.

Which of these is sometimes used to get the steer to charge into the ring?

The major organizations, like the PBR, have outlawed the use of cattle prods. But some smaller events still use it, citing the thickness of the bull's skin as a reason that it's not inhumane to do so.

Which of these disqualifies a rider?

Touching the bull, the bull rope, or himself will disqualify a rider. The hat coming off, on the other hand, happens all the time.

How much tougher is a bull's hide than human skin?

This is also said to justify the use of spurs. Spurring a bull isn't necessarily as harsh as it might seem, given the thickness of the hide.

The brave soul who distracts the bull after the rider is off is called a ________.

Rodeo clowns often dress and paint their faces like circus clowns. They have a critical role in keeping the riders safe after they have been thrown or leapt clear.

True or false: Is the bull also scored in bull riding?

The bull is scored on the vigor and violence with which he tries to throw the rider. So the maximum score of 100 is 50 points for the rider's skill and 50 points for the bull's difficulty.

What does a rider hang on to during the ride?

A rope is tied around the bull just behind its shoulders. The rider holds onto this for stability.

What is the purpose of the flank strap?

It's a fallacy that the flank strap constricts the bull's genitals in a painful way. But it is close to the bull's hindquarters, and irritates the bull enough to make him buck.

The spiked "wheels" on a rider's boots are called _______.

Spurs aren't just used in bull riding. Cowboys also use them to add extra force when they dig their heels into a mount's side, which, in general, makes a horse speed up.

Under what circumstances would a rider put one hand in the air?

The rider keeps one hand up for the entire 8 seconds of the ride. The other holds onto the rope that circles the bull's upper body.

What are the protective leggings riders wear called?

Chaps are like loose (but tough) "sleeves" over a rider's jeans. Motorcycle riders sometimes wear them as well, in case of road accidents.

The Championship Bull Riding professional series is called the Road to ______ Tour.

This is for the simple reason that the CBR championship is held in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It's part of a larger event called Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Which network broadcasts the "Road to Cheyenne" tour?

You can watch professional bull riding on the Fox Sports Network. This should not be confused with just "Fox," usually found lower on the dial, which is mostly entertainment programming.

One of the most famous bullriding events is at the Calgary ______.

The Calgary Stampede is justly famous for its rodeo, among other outdoor events. It is held in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

What is a castrated bull called?

This is relevant to bull riding because in earlier days, steers were used instead of bulls. They weren't as aggressive in the ring, but were much easier to transport from event to event.

What is a "short go"?

You'd find a "short go" in an event with multiple rounds. The highest scorers compete in the short go, and the top scorer in that is the winner overall.

What's the name of the equestrain sport that is most similar to bull riding?

"Saddle bronc" or "bareback bronc" is the sport/art of riding a bucking horse. Horses, due to their size and build, don't have the same power to throw a rider as a bull -- nor, without horns, are they as dangerous to a rider who has been thrown.

Why do riders wear a cowboy hat?

The hat serves no real purpose. It's a nod to the way the sport had its origins among real working cowboys and ranchhands. More than one rider might feel half-dressed without it!

What is "sunfishing"?

For a bull to twist in the air with two hooves or all four off the ground is called sunfishing. Bucking broncos can do this, too.

Which of these was a famous bull rider?

Lane Frost died at age 25 of injuries sustained in a ride. A movie was made about his life, with Luke Perry playing the lead.

In which state is the Professional Bull Riders association headquartered?

Fun fact: the PBR recognizes a "World Champion Bull" as well as a champion rider. As of 2017, a bull named Sweet Pro's Bruiser held this title.

Which of these is an excellent score for a ride?

The maximum possible score is 100. If the rider is thrown off, the score is 0.

The ______ brothers of Canada had a large influence on bull riding.

The Bascoms introduced Brahma bull riding to rodeo, at a time when steers were commonly used instead. Earl Bascom was also a well-known cowboy painter and sculptor.

Where is the Bull Riding Hall of Fame located?

The Hall of Fame only opened in 2016. Better known is the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, which is located in Colorado, but does not specifically honor bull riding.

In which of these countries is bull riding NOT popular?

Bull riding is largely popular in the Western Hemisphere, of which India is not a part. Beyond that, the Hindu religion views cattle as sacred, making bull riding an obvious nonstarter.

Behind the United States, which nation claims the most PBR World Champions?

Brazil's PBR successes go almost back to the organization's inception in 1992. More recently, Brazilian Silvano Alves won the championship in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Which of these groups does not participate in bull riding?

There are Indian rodeos (and "First Nations" rodeos in Australia), gay rodeos, and juniors bull-riding circuits. Competitors from all these groups make their way into the professional circuit.

Former bull rider Ty Murray is also known for which of these?

Murray did all these things. His then-wife, Jewel, was supposed to compete on DWTS with him (or rather, "against"), but had to withdraw because of an injury. Murray and Jewel later divorced.

Bull riding has drawn fire from _________ groups.

Animal-rights activists object to the use of the flank strap and the cattle prod, used to "incentivize" the animal to greater aggression or speed. Rodeo supporters say that a bull in pain will turn listless and won't buck, and therefore the use of those tools is clearly not inhumane.

Which of these is required at a bull riding event?

All bull riding events must have a veterinarian on hand to provide medical care for the bulls. This is in response to criticism that bulls are mistreated in rodeo.

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About This Quiz

Branded as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports, American bull riding consists of riding a bucking bull with one hand for eight seconds and not touching the beast or self with the free hand. 

Within the bull riding circuit four judges are used, two of which judge the rider out of 25 each and the other two judge the bull. Out of 100 points, most riders score between 70 -80 points. Outside the U.S various rules and guidelines govern professional bull riding as is the case with Argentina, Mexico, Canada, and New Zealand.

It takes quite a lot of equipment to ensure that this dangerous sport is performed safely (to both the riders and the animals), and even then it's not a guarantee. Professional bull riding takes place in an arena; the area must be a large open space with fencing from six to seven feet high and it must be suited with exits to allow the rider a way to get out quickly. 

Riders typically wear chaps that protect their legs and thighs and gloves, usually made of leather, to keep from getting rope burn. But how much do you really know about the sport? Will you set a record or end up with a chafed butt? Let's find out.

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