So….. let me start by saying I had almost no expectations for my first professional bull riding event, and I’m glad I didn’t.
Last week, a good friend of mine asked me to go to the rodeo and since 2019 is the year of new adventures I said “F*!k it, why not?”. Sponsored by The US Border Patrol (that may be relevant later), this event was held at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA. Having recently moved back to the Atlanta area I was looking forward to going to a non-music related function.
Upon entering the arena, I was handed a little American Flag and made my way down to section 118 row F, which is a pretty good seat by the way. So here we go, the lights dimmed, an intro video of a classic American Cowboy plays and reminds us all that being a cowboy reaches beyond race, color, creed, or religion. A cowboy is a “Man’s man” and seeks truth and justice, yada, yada, yada… Bring on the bulls! We do the National Anthem, I was tempted to kneel but I wanted to make it through the entire evening. And then… Showtime! Fireworks flare as 35 of the worlds best professional bull riders are introduced.
I must admit to this point neither my friend I went with nor I knew anything about the rules or how a ride is scored. Luckily, my newly made friend next to me and his wife were eager to educate me. So, a rider has to stay on for at least 8 seconds to even get a score. From there, the ride is judged on the rider’s ability to “Ride the whip” as they say. Still not 100% on what that means, but from the looks of it, they want you sit upright and fling your arm around in a circle basically.
As the night went on, the action seemed almost non-stop. Back to back, riders and bulls challenged one another to the point of excitement. The constant up and down adrenaline rushes were broken up once by a sort of “half-time” and then once again as the rodeo clown got the whole crowd to sing along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Another highlight of the night for me personally.
In all, I had hella fun, I’m glad I didn’t bring any preconceived notions with me and just let the night happen. I wouldn’t miss playoff basketball or anything like that, but I’d definitely attend another PBR event…
When it was all said and done, for Round 1 at least, Taylor Toves(US), Jaoa Ricardo Vieira (Brazil), and Jose Vitor Leme (Brazil) lead the pack going into Round 2. Many other notable riders stemmed from countries like, Mexico, Spain, and of course the USA!