kottke.org posts about bull riding

Bushwacker, a ballerina in hooves

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 25, 2011

Bushwacker is the top-rated bull in the US as determined by the Professional Bull Riders; he bucks riders off after an average of just under three seconds (eight seconds are needed for the rider to score points). The NY Times interviewed his trainer and some of his riders to find out why Bushwacker is so tough to ride.

Bushwacker short-hopped into the arena. Drool flew out of his mouth and whirled over Elliott’s head. Bushwacker bounded more than two feet into the air, kicked his hind legs up, and drove his front legs into the ground. Instead of waiting for his back legs to touch dirt, as most bulls do, he sprung off his front feet immediately.

This is Bushwacker’s signature move, and it is as effective in its offbeat athleticism as a point guard executing a crossover dribble to ditch a defender. Elliott came forward and lost the weight of his feet underneath him.

Possibly sensing the rider’s weight shift, Bushwacker staccato-hopped to the right. He accelerated into five successive spinning jumps. His tail whipped his own rump with emphatic snaps. Elliott flew to the right and hit the dirt. The clock showed 6.57 seconds.

Don’t miss watching the video inlined at the top of the page…Bushwacker is a total Ferdinand. And here’s video of the ride described in the passage above: