The History of Bull Riding


A lot can happen in eight seconds. For most bull riders, eight seconds on a 2,000 pound bull is more than plenty.

Bull riding has played a significant role in rodeos, and has a rich history. The concept of taming bulls has been around since the Minoan civilization across the pond. Fast forward a couple of centuries, and bull riding became a way for men to display their equestrian and ranching skills in contests known as charreadas.

During this period, bull riding was not regulated at all, and riders often rode the bull for as long as they could until they died. Bull riding originally stemmed from bull fighting, where riders would literall ride the bull to the death. It eventually evolved into an event where participants merely rode the bull until it tired and stopped bucking.

In the mid-1800s, the charreada-style competitions spread to Texas and California. Throughout the next century, new rules were established and the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association was created, though it took on many names prior.

Nowadays, bull riding has evolved into a combination of sport and spectacle. This isn’t the mechanical bull you rode that one night in college. Riders try to stay on a 2,000 pound bull for eight seconds. They can only use one hand to stay aboard. Both rider and bull can receive a maximum score of 50 points. Both scores are added up for the total. A score in the 80 point range is considered very good, and one in the 90s is exceptional.

Professional bull riders often go through rigorous training to prepare for their eight seconds. Being a great bull rider requires balance, strength, agility and a strong mental attitude.

Bull riding is one of Stockyards Championship Rodeo’s most popular events. Ready to see the excitement in person? Grab hold of your tickets now for the Stockyards Championship Rodeo.